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THE 



FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 



YOL. YI. 



(JANUARY— DECEMBER 1888.) 






• • > J 



' > 5 3) 







Alter et Idem. 



LONDON : 

PUBLISHED FOR THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY 

BY ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATEKNOSTER ROW. 



1888. 



<^ -^ '^ ^A 



Jist of (Sfjiitrs jj| tire ^ori^tg, 

] 888-1889. 



PRESIDENT. 
ANDREW LANG, ESQ., M.A. 

VICE-PEESIDENTS. 

W. R. S. RALSTON, M.A. 
THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF STRAFFORD. 
EDWARD B. TYLOR, LL.D., F.R.S. 

DIEECTOE. 

G. L. GOMME, F.S.A., 1, Beverley Villas, Barnes Common, S.W. 

COUNCIL. 



HON. JOHN ABERCROMBY. 

THE EARL BEAUCHAMP, F.S.A. 

EDWARD BRABROOK, F.S A. 

LOYS BRUEYRE. 

MISS C. S. BURNE. 

EDWARD CLODD. 

J. G. FRAZER, M.A. 

G. L. GOMME, F.S.A. 

S. HARTLAND, F.S.A. 

A. GRANGER HUTT, F.S.A. 

W. F. KIRBY. ' ' 



SIR JOHN LUBBOCK, Bt., F.R.S 

REV. DR. RICHARD MORRIS. 

ALFRED NUTT. 

T. F. ORDISH. 

Lt.-Gen. PITT-RIVERS, D.C.L. 

F.R.S., F.S.A., ETC. 
PROFESSOR A. H. SAYCE, M.A, 
CAPTAIN R. C. TEMPLE. 
J., S. UDAL, , , , ,. ,<^ < ,< 

EEHRY B. WIIEATLEt,: F.4.A.'' 






HON, TEEASUjRFE. 
EDWARD CLODD, 19, Carleton Read, TnfueU Pktk, N. 

AUDITOES. 

G. L. APPERSON. 
JOHN TOLHURST, F.S.A. 

LOCAL SECEETAEIES. 

Ieeland: G. H. kin ah an. 
South Scotland: WILLIAM GEORGE BLACK. 
North Scotland: Rev. WALTER GREG OR. 

INDIA: Captain R. C. TEMPLE. 

China: J. STEWART LOCKHART. 

HONOEAET SECEETAEIES 
A. GRANGER HUTT, F.S.A., 8, Oxford Road, Kilbnrn, N.W. 
J. J. FOSTER, 36, Alma Square, St. John's Wood, N.W. 



Cxw^^^^'u;JL.^ Cjoow.^ C^. 



\,-\o Ci 



CONTENTS. 



i 



'X* 



J) 



PAGE 

Abercromby (Hon. Ralph). Cloiid-Land in Folk-Lore and in 

Science - - - - _ _ _ _ 94-115 

Babcock (W. H.) Folk-Tales and Folk-Lore collected in and 

near Washington ---____ 85-94 

Batchelor (Rev. J.) Some Specimens of Aino Folk-Lore 193-196 

Birth Ceremonies of the Prabhus (reprint) - _ _ _ 75.77 

Black (William George). Charms and Spells at Gretna 189-199 

Chamberlain (Basil Hall). Aino Folk-Tales - - - 1-51 

^-"^^- Dempster (Miss). Folk-Lore of Sutherlandshire 149-189, 215-252 

c Folk-Lore of the Feroe Islands (reprint) - - _ 129-133 

y Foster (J. J.) Dorset Folk-Lore - - - . 115-119 

Frazer (J. G.) Folk-Lore at Balquhidder - - _ 268-271 



Gregor (Rev. W.) Some Folk-Lore from Achterneed - 262-265 
Hartland (E. Sidney). The Treasure on the Drim - 125-128 

r Dafydd Vvilliam Dafydd and the Fairies - 191-193 

I Harvey (D. F. A ) Traditions of the Mentra, or Aborigines 

of Malacca and the adjoining States - - . . 64-74 
ji Irish Folk-Lore (reprint) - - - _ _ _ _ 51,54 

Kinahan (G. H.) Irish Plant-Lore Ilotes - _ . 265-267 
King (Capt. J. S.) Notes on the Folk-Lore and some Social 

Customs of the Western Somali Tribes- - - 119-125 



cr7 



IV 



PAGE 

Marriage Customs of the Moors of Ceylou (reprint) - 139-142 

Notes and Queries - _ - 77-80, 142-146, 209-212, 271-277 

Notices and News - - - 80-84, 146-14>^, 212-214, 277-278 

Raja Donan : a Malay Fairy Tale (reprint) - - - 134-139 

Sanborn (John Wentworth). Folk-Lore of the Seneca Indians 

of North America --_-._ 196-199 

Wratislaw (Rev. A. H.) The Three Lemons - - 199-209 

The Lame Fox _ _ . _ . 252-262 



AINO FOLK-LOEE 



By Basil Hall Chamberlain. 



Prefatory RemarTcs. 




VISITED the island of Yezo for the third time in the 
summer of 1886, in order to study the Aino language, 
with a view to elucidate by its means the obscure 
problem of the geographical nomenclature of Japan. 
But, as is apt to happen on such occasions, the chief object of my 
visit soon ceased to be the only object. He who would learn a 
language must try to lisp in it, and more especially must he try to 
induce the natives to chatter in it in his presence. Now in Yezo, 
subjects of discourse are few. The Ainos stand too low in the scale 
of humanity to have any notion of the civilised art of " making 
conversation." When, therefore, the fishing and the weather are 
exhausted, the European sojourner in one of their dreary, filthy 
seaside hamlets will find himself, — at least I found myself, — sadly at 
a loss for any further means of setting his native companions' 
tongues in motion. It is then that fairy-tales come to the rescue. 
The Ainos would not suggest the idea themselves. To suggest ideas 
is not their habit. But they are delighted to follow it when sug- 
gested. Simply to repeat something which they have known by 
heart ever since the days of their childhood is not such an effort to 
their easily-tired brains as is the keeping up of a conversation with 
one who speaks their language imperfectly. Their tongues are at 
once loosened. 

In my own case, I found myself, after a short time, listening to the 
Vol. 6. — Part 1. b 



2 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

stories for their own sake, — not merely as linguistic exercises ; and I 
ventured to include a few of them in the " Memoir on the Ainos " 
which was published a few months ago by the Imperial University 
of Japan. Some remarks in a review of this " Memoir," contained in 
Nature of the 12th May, 1887, have encouraged me to believe that 
anthropologists and comparative mythologists may be interested in 
having laid before them something more than mere samples of the 
mental products of a people which is interesting for three reasons, — 
interesting because its domain once extended over the entire Japanese 
archipelago, interesting because absolutely nothing certain is known 
as to its origin and affinities, interesting because it is, so to speak, 
almost at its last gasp. I have, therefore, now collected and classified 
all the tales that were communicated to me by Ainos, in Aino, during 
my last stay in the island, and more latterly in Tokyo, when, by 
the kind assistance of the President of the University, Mr. H. 
Watanabe, an exceptionally intelligent Aino was procured from the 
North, and spent a month in my house. These tales form the paper 
which I now have the honour to offer for the acceptance of your 
learned Society. 

It would, no doubt, be possible to treat the subject of Aino folk- 
lore in great detail. The gloss might easily be made longer than 
the text. Each story might be analysed according to the method 
proposed by the Folk-Lore Society ; a " survey of incidents " might 
be appended to each, as in Messrs. Steel and Temple's charming 
" Wide-Awake Stories," from the Punjab and Cashmere. More inte- 
resting to the anthropologist than such mechanical dissection of each 
tale considered as an independent entity would be the attempt to 
unravel the affinities of these Aino tales. How many of them, what 
parts of them, are original ? How many of them are borrowed, and 
whence ? 

To carry out such an investigation with that completeness which 
would alone give it serious value, would necessitate a greater expen- 
diture of time than my duties will allow of, perhaps also a fund of 
multifarious knowledge which I do not possess. I would, therefore, 
merely suggest in passing that the probabilities of the case are in 
favour of the Ainos having borrowed from their only clever neigh- 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 3 

boiirs, the Japanese. (The advent of the Russians is so recent that 
they need hardly be counted in this connection.) The reasons for 
attributing to the Japanese, rather than to the Ainos, the prior 
possession (which, by the way, by no means implies the invention) of 
the tales common to both races, are partly general, partly special. 
Thus it is a 2^rw7^i likely that the stupid and barbarous will be 
taught by the clever and educated, not the clever and educated by 
the stupid and barbarous. On the other hand, as I have elsewhere 
demonstrated, a comparative study of the languages of the two 
peoples shows clearly that this a j^riori view is fully borne out so far 
as far as the linguistic domain is concerned. The same remark 
applies to social customs. Even in religion, the most conservative of 
all institutions, especially among barbarians, the Ainos have suffered 
Japanese influence to intrude itself. It is Japanese rice-beer, under 
its Japanese name of sal:e, which they offer in libations to their gods. 
Their very word for " prayer " seems to be archaic Japanese. A 
mediseval Japanese hero, Yoshitsune, is generally allowed to be held 
in religious reverence by them. The idea of earthquakes being caused 
by the wriggling of a gigantic fish under the earth is shared by the 
Ainos with the Japanese and with several other races. 

At the same time, the general tenour and tendency of the tales 
and traditions of the Ainos wear a widely different aspect from that 
which characterises the folk-lore of Japan. The Ainos, in their 
humble way, are addicted to moralising and to speculating on the 
origin of things. A perusal of the following tales will show that a 
surprisingly large number of them are attempts to explain some 
natural phenomenon, or to exemplify some simple precept. In fact 
they are science, — physical science and moral science, — at a very 
early stage. The explanations given in these tales completely satisfy 
the adult Aino mind of the present day. The Aino fairy-tales are 
not, as ours are, survivals from an earlier stage of thought. They 
spring out of the present state of thought. Even if not invented of 
recent years they fit in with the present Aino view of things, — so mi7ch 
so, that an Aino who recounts one of his stories does so under the 
impression that he is narrating an actual event. He does not " make 
believe " like the European nurse, even like the European child, who 

b2 



4 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

has always, in some nook or corner of his mind, a presentiment of the 
scepticism of his later years. 

So far as I can judge, that " disease of language " which we call 
metaphor, and which is held by some great authorities to have been 
the chief factor in the fabrication of Aryan myth, has no place in 
Aino fairy-land ; neither have the phenomena of the weather attracted 
more attention than other things. But I speak subject to correction. 
Perhaps it is not wise to invite controversy on such a point unless 
one is well armed for the fight. 

Failing an elaborate analysis of the Aino fairy-tales, and a discussion 
of their origin and affinities, what I venture to offer for your Society's 
acceptance is the simple text of the tales themselves, rendered into 
English. Nine of them have already been printed in the Aino 
"Memoir" already referred to. One has been printed (but not quite 
in its genuine form, which decency was supposed to forbid) at the end 
of Mr. Batchelor's grammar included in the same "Memoir." All the 
others are now given to the world for the first time, never having yet 
appeared in any language, not even in Japanese. 

I would draw special attention to the character of the translation, 
as being an absolutely literal one in the case of all those stories which 
I originally wrote down in Aino from the dictation of native infor- 
mants. As time pressed, however, I sometimes had the story told 
me more rapidly, and wrote it down afterwards in English only, but 
never more than a few hours afterwards. In such cases, though every 
detail is preserved, the rendering is of course not actually literal. 
This, and the fact that there were several informants, will account for 
the difference of style between the various stories. I have appended 
to each story either the words " translated literally," or the words 
" written down from memory," together with the date and the name 
of the informant, in order that those who use the collection may know 
exactly what it is that they are handling. In all such matters, 
absolute accuracy, absolute literalness, wherever attainable, is surely 
the one thing necessary. Not all the charm of diction, not all the 
ingenious theories in the world, can for a moment be set in the balance 
against rigid exactness, even if some of the concomitants of rigid 
exactness are such as to spoil the subject for popular treatment. The 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 5 

truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loin-cloth 
on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim when, having 
discovered a new set of facts, he undertakes to present them to the 
consideration of the scientific world. 

Of course Aino tales, like other tales, may also be treated from a 
literary point of view. Some of the tales of the present collection, 
prettily illustrated with pictures by Japanese artists, and altered, 
expurgated, and arranged virginihus puerisque, are at the present 
moment being prepared by Messrs. Ticknor & Co., of Boston, who 
thought with me that such a venture might please our little ones 
both in England and in the United States. But such things have no 
scientific value. They are not meant to have any. They are mere 
juvenile literature, whose English dressing-up has as little relation to 
the barbarous original as the Paris fashions have to the anatomy of 
the human frame. 

The present paper, on the contrary, is intended for the sole perusal 
of the anthropologist and ethnologist, who would be deprived of one 
of the best means of judging of the state of the Aino mind if the 
hideous indecencies of the original were omitted, or its occasional 
ineptitude furbished up. Aino mothers, lulling their babies to sleep, 
as they rock them in the cradle hung over the kitchen fire, use words, 
touch on subjects which we never mention ; and that precisely is a 
noteworthy characteristic. The innocent savage is not found in 
Aino-land, if indeed he is to be found anywhere. The Aino's imagi- 
nation is as prurient as that of any Zola, and far more outspoken. 
Pray, therefore, put the blame on him, if much of the language of the 
present collection is such as it is not usual to see in print.* Aino 
stories and Aino conversation are the intellectual counterpart of the 
dirt, the lice, and the skin-diseases which cover Aino bodies. 

For the four-fold classification of the stories, no importance is 

* [The tales in this collection which are not fit to publish are omitted from 
these pages. The omissions can readily be detected by the numbers of the tales 
not running consecutively. It seemed to the Council that for scientific purposes 
the complete collection should be preserved, and they accordingly decided to 
print a limited number to be issued to Members of the Society only. This 
limited issue is accompanied, by an introduction by Professor E. B. Tylor. — Ed.] 



6 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

claimed. It was necessary to arrange them somehow ; and the 
division into "Tales Accomiting for the Origin of Phenomena," 
" Moral Tales," " Tales of the Panaumbe and Penaumbe Cycle," and 
" Miscellaneous Tales," suggested itself as a convenient working 
arrangement. The *' Scraps of Folk-Lore," which have been added at 
the end, may perhaps be considered out of place in a collection of 
tales. But I thought it better to err on the side of inclusion than on 
that of exclusion. For it may be presumed that the object of any 
such investigation is rather to gain as minute an acquaintance as 
possible with the mental products of the people studied, than scrupu- 
lously to conform to any system. 

There must be a large number of Aino fairy-tales besides those here 
given, as the chief tellers of stories, in Aino-land as in Europe, are 
the women, and I had mine from men only, the Aino women being 
much too shy of male foreigners for it to be possible to have much 
conversation with them. Even of the tales I myself heard, several 
were lost through the destruction of certain papers, — among others at 
least three of the Panaumbe and Penaumbe Cycle, which I do not 
trust myself to reconstruct from memory at this distance of time. 
Many precious hours were likewise wasted, and much material rendered 
useless, by the national vice of drunkenness. A whole month at 
Hakodate was spoilt in this way, and nothing obtained from an Aino 
named Tomtare, who had been procured for me by the kindness of 
H. E. the Governor of Hakodate. One can have intercourse with 
men who smell badly, and who suffer, as almost all Ainos do, from 
lice and from a variety of disgusting skin-diseases. It is a mere 
question of endurance and of disinfectants. But it is impossible to 
obtain information from a drunkard. A third reason for the compara- 
tively small number of tales which it is possible to collect during a 
limited period of intercourse is the frequency of repetitions. No doubt 
such repetitions have a confirmatory value, especially when the 
repetition is of the nature of a variant. Still, one would willingly 
spare them for the sake of new tales. 

The Aino names appended to the stories are those of the men by 
whom they were told to me, viz. Penri, the aged chief of Piratori ; 
Ishanashte of Shumunkot j Kannariki of Poropet (Jap. Horobetsu) ; 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 7 

and Kuteashguru of Sapporo. Tomtare of Yurap does not appear 

for the reason mentioned above, which spoilt all his usefulness. The 

only mythological names which appear are Okikurumi, whom the 

Ainos regard as having been their civilizer in very ancient times, his 

sister-wife Turesh, or Tureshi[hi] and his henchman Samayunguru. 

The " divine symbols," of which such constant mention is made in 

the tales, are the inao or whittled sticks frequently described in books 

of travels. Basil Hall Chamberlain. 

Miyanoshita, Japan, 

20th July, 1887. 



I.— TALES ACCOUNTING FOR THE ORIGIN OF 

PHENOMENA. 

i. — The Rat and the Owl.* 

An owl had put by for next day the remains of something dainty 
which he had to eat. But a rat stole it, whereupon the owl was very 
angry, and went off to the rat's house, and threatened to kill him. 
But the rat apologised, saying : " I will give you this gimlet and tell 
you how you can obtain from it pleasure far greater than the pleasure 
of eating the food which I was so rude as to eat up. Look here ! 
you must stick the gimlet with the sharp point upwards in the ground 
at the foot of this tree ; then go to the top of the tree yourself, and 
slide down the trunk." 

Then the rat went away, and the owl did as the rat had instructed 
him. But, sliding down on to the sharp gimlet, he impaled himself 
on it, and suffered great pain, and, in his grief and rage, went off 
to kill the rat. But again the rat met him with apologies, and, as a 
peace-offering, gave him a cap for his head. 

These events account for the thick cap of erect feathers which the 
owl wears to this day, and also for the enmity between the owl and 
the rat. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 25th 
November, 1886.) 

* The Aino name here used {almnrasTiamhe) denotes a horned species. 



8 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

ii. — The Loves of the Thunder-Gods. 

Two young thunder-gods, sons of the chief thunder-god, fell 
violently in love with the same Aino woman. Said one of them to 
the other, in a joking way : " I will become a flea, so as to be able to 
hop into her bosom." Said the other : " I will become a louse, so as 
to be able to stay always in her bosom." 

'* Are those your wishes ?" cried their father, the chief thunder-god. 
" You shall be taken at your word" ; and forthwith the one of them 
who had said he would become a flea was turned into a flea, while he 
who said he would become a louse was turned into a louse. Hence all 
the fleas and lice that exist at the present day. 

This accounts for the fact that, whenever there is a thunder-storm, 
fleas jump out of all sorts of places where there were none to be seen 
before. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 27th 
November, 1886.) 

iii. — Why Dogs cannot speak. 

Formerly dogs could speak. Now they cannot. The reason is that 
a dog, belonging to a certain man a long time ago, inveigled his 
master into the forest under the pretext of showing him game, and 
there caused him to be devoured by a bear. Then the dog went home 
to his master's widow, and lied to her, saying : " My master has been 
killed by a bear. But when he was dying he commanded me to tell 
you to marry me in his stead." The widow knew that the dog was 
lying. But he kept on urging her to marry him. So at last, in her 
grief and rage, she threw a handful of dust into his open mouth. 
This made him unable to speak any more, and therefore no dogs can 
speak even to this very day. — (Written down from memory. Told by 
Ishanashte, 29th November, 1886.) 

iv. — Why the Cock cannot fly. 

When the Creator had finished creating the world, and had returned 
to the sky, he sent down the cock to see whether the world \yas good 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 9 

or not, with orders to come back at once. But the world was so 
beautiful, that the cock, unable to tear himself away, kept lingering 
on from day to day. At last, after a long time, he was on his way 
flying back up to the sky. But God, angry with him for his 
disobedience, stretched forth his hand, and beat him down to earth, 
saying : " You are not wanted in the sky any more." 

That is why, to this very day, the cock cannot fly high.— (Written 
down from memory. Told by Penri, 18th July, 1886.) 

V. — The Origin of the Hare. 

Suddenly there was a large house on the top of a mountain, wherein 
were six people beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling. 
Whence they came was unknown. Thereupon Okikurumi came and 
said : " Oh ! you bad hares ! you wicked hares ! who does not know 
your origin ? The children in the sky were pelting each other with 
snowballs, and the snowballs fell into the world of men. As it would 
be a pity to waste anything that falls from the sky, the snowballs 
were turned into hares, and those hares are you. You, who dwell in 
this world, which belongs to me, should not quarrel. What is it that 
you are making such a noise about?" 

With these words, Okikurumi seized a fire-brand, and beat each of 
the six with it in turn. Thereupon all the hares ran away. This is 
the origin of the hare[-god]; and for this reason the body of the hare 
is white because made of snow, while its ears- — which are the place 
where it was charred by the fire-brand, — are black. — (Translated 
literally. Told by Penri, 10th July, 1886.) 

viii. — The Owl and the Tortoise. 

The tortoise[-god] in the sea and the owl[-god] on land were 
very intimate. The tortoise spoke thus : " Your child is a boy. My 
child is a girl. So it will be good for us to unite them in marriage. 
If I send into the river the fish that there are in the sea your son 
and my daughter, being both of them enabled to eat fish, will possess 
the world." Thus spoke the tortoise. The owl was greatly obliged. 
For this reason, the child of the tortoise and the child of the owl 



10 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

became husband and wife. For this reason, the owl, without the least 
hesitation, eats every fish that comes into the river. — (Translated 
literally. Told by Penri, 15th July, 1886.) 

ix. — How a Man got the better of two Foxes. 

A man went into the mountains to get bark to make rope with, 
and found a hole. To this hole there came a fox, who spoke as 
follows, though he was a fox, in human language : " I know of 
something from which great profit may be derived. Let us go to the 
place to-morrow ! " To which the fox inside the hole replied as 
follows : " What profitable thing do you allude to ? After hearing 
about it, I will go with you if it sounds likely to be profitable ; andnf 
not, not." The fox outside spoke thus : " The profitable thing to be 
done is this. I will come here to-morrow about the time of the mid- 
day meal. You must be waiting for me then, and we will go off 
together. If you take the shape of a horse, and we go off together, I 
taking the shape of a man and riding on your back, we can go down 
to the shore, where dwell human beings possessed of plenty of food 
and all sorts of other things. As there is sure to be among the 
people some one who wants a horse, I will sell you to him who thus 
wants a horse, I can then buy a quantity of precious things and of 
food. Then I shall run away ; and you, having the appearance of a 
horse, will be led out to eat grass, and be tied up somewhere on the 
hillside. Then, if I come and help you to escape, and we divide the 
food and the precious things equally between us, it will be profitable 
for both of us." Thus spoke the fox outside the hole ; and the fox 
inside the hole was very glad, and said : " Come and fetch me early 
to-morrow, and we will go off together." 

The man was hidden in the shade of the tree, and had been 
listening. Then the fox who had been standing outside went away, 
and the man, too, went home for the night. But he came back next 
day to the mouth of the hole, and spoke thus, imitating the voice of 
the fox whom he had heard speaking outside the hole the day before : 
'' Here I am. Come out at once ! If you will turn into a horse, we 
•nill go down to the shore." The fox came out. It was a big fox. 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 11 

The man said : " I have come ah-eady turned into a man. If you 
turn into a horse, it will not matter even if we are seen by other 
people." The fox shook itself, and became a large chestnut [^lit. red] 
horse. Then the two went off together, and came to a very rich 
village, plentifully provided with everything. The man said : " I 
will sell this horse to anybody who wants one." As the horse was a 
very fine one, every one wanted to buy it. So the man bartered it 
for a quantity of food and precious things, and then went away. 

Now the horse was such a peculiarly fine one that its new owner 
did not like to leave it out-of-doors, but always kept it in the house. 
He shut the door, and he shut the window, and cut grass to feed it 
with. But though he fed it, it could not (being really a fox) eat 
grass at all. All it wanted to eat was fish. After about four days 
it was like to die. At last it made its escape through the window 
and ran home ; and, arriving at the place where the other fox lived, 
wanted to kill it. But it discovered that the trick had been played, 
not by its companion fox, but by the man. So both the foxes were 
very angry, and consulted about going to find the man and kill him. 

But though the two foxes had decided thus, the man came and 
made humble excuses, saying : " I came the other day, because I had 
overheard you two foxes plotting ; and then I cheated you. For this 
I humbly beg your pardon. Even if you do kill me, it will do no 
good. So henceforward I will brew rice-beer for you, and set up the 
divine symbols for you, and worship you, — worship you for ever. In 
this way you will derive greater profit than you would derive from 
killing me. Fish, too, whenever I make a good catch, I will offer to 
you as an act of worship. This being so, the creatures called men 
shall worship you for ever." 

The foxes, hearing this, said : " That is capital, we think. That 
will do very well." Thus spake the foxes. Thus does it come about 
that all men, both Japanese and Aino, worship the fox. So it is 
said. — (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 15th July, 1886.) 

X. — The Man who Married the Bear-Goddess. 
There was a very populous village. It was a village having both 



12 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

plenty of fish and plenty of venison. It was a place lacking no kind 
of food. ISTevertbeless, once upon a time, a famine set in. There was 
no food, no venison, no fish, nothing to eat at all ; there was a 
famine. So in that populous village all the people died. 

Now the village chief was a man who had two children, a boy and 
a girl. After a time, only those two children remained alive. Now 
the girl was the older of the two, and the boy was the younger. The 
girl spoke thus : " As for me, it does not matter even if I do die, 
since I am a girl. But you, being a boy, can, if you like, take up 
our father's inheritance. So you should take these things with you, 
use them to buy food with, eat it, and live." So spoke the girl, and 
took out a bag made of cloth, and gave it to him. 

Then the boy went out on to the sand, and walked along the sea- 
shore. When he had walked on the sand for a long time, he saw a 
pretty little house a short way inland. Near it was lying the carcase 
of a large whale. The boy went to the house, and after a time 
entered it. On looking around, he saw a man of divine appearance. 
The man's wife, too, looked like a goddess, and was dressed altogether 
in black raiment. The man was dressed altogether in speckled 
raiment. The boy went in, and stood by the door. The man said to 
him: " Welcome to you, whencesoever you may have come." After- 
wards a lot of the whale's flesh was boiled, and the boy was feasted on 
it. But the woman never looked towards him. Then the boy went 
out and fetched his parcel, which he had left outside. He brought in 
the bag made of cloth which had been given to him by his sister, and 
opened its mouth. On taking out and looking at the things inside 
it, they were found to be very precious treasures. " I will give you 
these treasures in payment for the food," said the boy, and gave them 
to that divine-looking man-of-the-house. The god, having looked at 
them, said : " They are very beautiful treasures." He said again : 
" You need not have paid me for the food. But I will take these 
treasures of yours, carry them to my [other] house, and bring you my 
own treasures in exchange for them. As for this whale's flesh, you 
can eat as much of it as you like, without payment." Having said 
this, he went off with the lad's treasures. 

Then the lad and the woman remained together. After a time 



A.INO FOLK-LORE. 13 

the woman turned to the lad, and said : " You lad ! listen to me 
when I speak. I am the bear -goddess. This husband of mine is the 
dragon-god. There is no one so jealous as he is. Therefore did I 
not look towards you, because I knew that he would be jealous if I 
looked towards you. Those treasures of yours are treasures which 
even the gods do not possess. It is because he is delighted to get 
them that he has taken them with him to counterfeit them and bring 
you mock treasures. So when he shall have brought those treasures 
and shall display them, you must speak thus : ' We need not 
exchange treasures. I wish to buy the woman ! ' If you speak thus, 
he will go angrily away, because he is such a jealous man. Then 
afterwards we can marry each other, which will be very pleasant. 
That is how you must speak." That was what the woman said. 

Then, after a certain time, the man of divine appearance came back 
grinning. He came bringing two sets of treasures, the treasures 
which were treasures and his own other treasures. The god spoke 
thus : '' You, lad ! As I have brought the treasures which are your 
treasures, it will be well to exchange them for my treasures." The 
boy spoke thus : " Though I should like to have treasures also, I 
want your wife even more than I want the treasures ; so please give 
me your wife instead of the treasures." Thus spoke the lad. 

He had no sooner uttered the words than he was stunned by a clap 
of thunder above the house. On looking around him, the house was 
gone, and only he and the goddess were left together. He came 
to his senses. The treasures were there also. Then the woman 
spoke thus : " What has happened is that my dragon-husband has 
gone away in a rage, and has therefore made this noise, because you 
and I wish to be together. Now we can live together." Thus spoke 
the goddess. Afterwards they lived together. This is why the bear 
is a creature half like a human being. — (Translated literally. Told by 
Ishanashte, 9th November, 1886.) 



xi. — The two Foxes, the 3£ole, and the Crows. 

Two brother foxes consulted together thus: "It would be fun for 
us to go down among men, and assume human shape." So they 



14 AlNO FOLK-LORE. 

made treasures and they made garments out of the leaves of various 
trees, and they made various things to eat and cakes out of the gum 
which comes out of trees. But the mole[-god] saw them making all 
these preparations. So the mole made a place like a human village, 
and placed himself in it under the disguise of a very old man. The 
foxes came to that village ; they came to the very old man's house. 
And the mole himself made beautiful treasures and made garments 
out of various herbs and leaves of trees ; and, taking mulberries and 
grapes from the tops of the trees, he made good food. On the arrival 
of the foxes, the mole invited all the crows in the place and all sorts 
of birds. He gave them human shape, and placed them as owners in 
the houses of the village. Then the mole, as chief of the village, was 
a very old man. 

Then the foxes came, having assumed the shape of men. They 
thought the place was a human village. The old chief bought all the 
things which the foxes had brought on their backs, all their treasures 
and all their food. Then the old man displayed to them his own 
beautiful treasures. The old man displayed all his beautiful things, 
his garments. The foxes were much pleased. Then the old man 
spoke thus : " Oh you strangers ! as there is a dance in my village, it 
will be well for you to see it." Then all the people in the village 
danced all sorts of dances. But at last, owing to their being birds, 
they began to fly upwards, notwithstanding their human shape. The 
foxes saw this, and were much amused. The foxes ate both of the 
mulberries and of the grapes. They tasted very good. It was great 
fun, too, to see the dancing. Afterwards they went home. 

The foxes thought thus : '* What is nicer even than treasures is 
the delicious food which human beings have. As we do not know 
what it is, let us go again and buy some more of it." So they again 
made treasures out of herbs. Then they again went down to that 
village. The mole was in a golden house — a large house. He was 
alone in it, having sent all the crows and the rest away. As the 
foxes entered the house and looked about them, they saw a very 
venerable god. The god spoke thus : " Oh ! you foxes ; because you 
had assumed human shape, you made all sorts of counterfeit treasures. 
I saw all that you did. It is by me, and because of this, that you are 



AINO I*0LK-LORE. 15 

brought here. You think this is a human village ; but it is the 
village of me, your master the mole. It seems you constantly do all 
sorts of bad things. If you do so, it is very wrong ; so do not assume 
human shape any more. If you will cease to assume human shape, 
you may henceforth eat your fill of these mulberries and grapes. You 
and your companions the crows may eat together of the mulberries 
and of all fruits at the top of the trees, which the crows cause to drop 
down. This will be much more profitable for you than to assume 
human shape." Thus spoke the mole. 

Owing to this, the foxes left off assuming human shape, and, from 
that time forward, ate as they pleased of the mulberries and the 
grapes. When the crows let any drop, they went underneath the 
trees and ate them. They became very friendly together. — (Trans- 
lated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 11th November, 1886.) 



xii. — The Stolen Charm. 

A very rich man kept a puppy and a fox-cub. Besides these he 
possessed a tiny silver model of a ship, — a charm given to him by 
some god, what god I know not. One day this charm was stolen, and 
could nowhere be found. The rich man was so violently grieved at 
this, that he lay down and refused all food, and was like to die. 
Meanwhile the puppy and the fox-cub played about in his room. 
But when they saw, after some time, that the man was really going to 
die, the fox-cub said to the puppy : " If our master dies, we shall die 
of hunger too ; so we had better search for the charm." So they 
consulted as to the best way to search for it ; and at last the fox-cub 
was struck by the idea that the ogre who lived at the top of the large 
mountain that stands at the end of the world might have stolen the 
charm and put it into his box. The fox-cub seemed to see that this 
had really happened. So the two little animals determined to go and 
rescue the charm from the ogre. But they knew that they could not 
accomplish this alone, and resolved to add the rat[-god] to their 
number. So they invited the rat, and the three went off, dancing 
merrily. 

Now the ogre was always looking steadily in the direction of the 



16 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

sick rich man, hoping that he would die. So he did not notice the 
approach of the fox-cub, the dog, and the rat. So when they reached 
the ogre's house, the rat, with the help of the fox-cub, scooped out a 
passage under and into the house, by which all three made their way 
in. They then decided that it must be left to the rat to get hold of 
the charm by nibbling a hole in the box in which it was kept. Mean- 
while the fox-cub assumed the shaj)e of a little boy, and the puppy 
that of a little girl, — two beautiful little creatures who danced and 
went through all sorts of antics, much to the amusement of the ogre. 
The ogre was, however, suspicious as to how they had come into the 
house, and whence they had come, for the doors were not open. So 
he determined just to divert himself awhile by watching their frolics, 
and then to kill them. Meanwhile the rat had nibbled a hole in the 
box. Then getting into it, he rescued the charm, and went out again 
through the passage in the ground. The little boy and girl disap- 
peared too ; how, the ogre could not tell. He made to pursue them 
through the door, when he saw them fleeing. But on second thoughts 
he came to the conclusion that, having once been taken in by a fox, 
there was no use in further endeavours. So he did not follow the 
three animals as they fled away. 

They returned to the village ; the puppy and the fox-cub to their 
master's house, the rat to its own place. The puppy and the fox-cub 
took home with them the charm, and placed it by their master's 
pillow, playing about near him, and pulling his clothes a little with 
their teeth. At length he lifted his head and saw the charm. Then 
he worshipped it with great joy and gratitude. Afterwards the fox- 
cub and the puppy caused him to see in a dream how the charm had 
been recovered through the rat's assistance. So he worshipped the 
rat also. 

For this reason the Ainos do not think so very badly of the rat 
after all. The fox, too, though often pursued by dogs, will sometimes 
make friends with them ; and even when a dog is pursuing a fox, it 
will not bite the latter if it turns its face towards the pursuer. — 
(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 21st November. 
1886.) 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 17 

xiii. — The Fox, the Otter, and the Monkey. 

In very ancient days, at the beginning of the world, there were a 
fox, an otter, and a monkey, all three of whom lived on the most 
intimate terms of friendship. 

One day the fox spoke to the other two as follows : " What do you 
say to our going off somewhere, and stealing food and treasures from 
the Japanese ? " His two companions having consented, they all 
went together to a distant place, and stole a bag of beans, a bag of 
salt, and a mat from the house of a very rich man. When they had 
come home with their plunder, the fox said : " Otter ! you had better 
take the salt, for it will be useful to you in salting the fish which you 
catch in the water when you go fishing. Monkey ! do you take the 
mat ; it will be very useful for you to make your children dance 
upon. As for myself, I will take the bag of beans." 

After this, all three retired to their respective houses ; and a little 
later the otter went to the river to fish. But, as he took his bag of 
salt with him when he made the plunge, all the salt was melted in a 
moment, to his great disappointment. The monkey was equally 
unlucky ; for, having taken his mat and spread it on the top of a 
tree, and made his children dance there, the children fell, and were 
dashed to pieces on the ground below. 

The monkey and the otter, enraged by the misfortunes which the 
fox's wiles had brought upon them, now joined together in order to 
fight the fox. So the latter took a lot of beans out of his bag, 
chewed them to a pulp, smeared all his body with the paste, and lay 
down pretending to be very ill. And when the otter and the monkey 
came and made to kill him, he said: " See to what a pitiful plight I 
am reduced ! As a punishment for having deceived you, my whole 
body is now covered with boils, and I am on the point of deatli. 
There is no need for you to kill me. Go away ! I am dying fast 
enough." The monkey looked, and saw that the fox seemed to be 
speaking the truth. So he went testily away, across the sea to Japan. 
That is the reason why there are no monkeys in the land of the 
Ainos. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 11th 
July, 1886.) 

Vol. 6. — Part 1. c 



18 AlNO FOLK-LORE. 

xiv.— TAe Fox and the Tiger. — (No. I.) 

Said tlie tiger to the fox : " Let us run a race from the top of the 
world to the bottom of the world, and he who wins it shall be lord of 
the world ! " The fox agreed, and off the tiger bounded, but without 
noticing that the fox had caught hold of his tail so as to get pulled 
along by him. Just as the tiger was about to reach the other end, 
he suddenly whisked round, in order to jeer at the fox, whom he 
believed to be far behind. But this motion exactly threw the fox 
safely on to the far end, so that he was able to call out to the asto- 
nished tiger : " Here I am. What are you so long about ? " 
■ For this reason there are no tigers in Aino-land. 

(No. 11.) 

Said the tiger to the fox : " You are said to be the craftiest of all 
creatures. Let us now enter into rivalry, and see which of us can 
roar the loudest ; for to him shall belong the chieftainship of the 
world." The fox consented, and the two stood up alongside of each 
other. But as it was for the tiger to roar first, he remained standing 
up, and did not notice how the fox scraped a hole with his paws to 
hide his head in, so that his ears might not be stunned by the tiger's 
roaring. 

Well, the tiger roared a roar which he thought must be heard from 
the top of the world to the bottom of the world, and must certainly 
stun the fox. But the fox, as soon as he knew the tiger's roar to be 
at an end, jumped up out of the hole where he had been hiding his 
ears, and said : " Why 1 I hardly heard you. You can surely roar 
louder than that. You had better try again." 

The tiger was very angry at this ; for he had expected that the fox 
would be stunned to death. However he resolved to make another 
still more tremendous effort. He did so, while the fox again hid his 
head in the hole ; and the tiger burst his inside in the attempt. 

For this reason there are no tigers in Aino-land. For this reason, 
also, foxes are crafty and eloquent even at the present day. — (Written 
down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 27th November, 1886.) 



AiNO FOLK-LORE. 19 



XV. — The Punishment of Curiosity. 

In very ancient days, when the world had just been made, every- 
thing was still unsettled and dangerous. The crust of the earth was 
thin, and all was burning beneath. For this reason the people did 
not dare to venture outside of their huts even to obtain food : for 
they would have scorched their feet. So they were fed by the god 
Okikurumi, who used to fish for them, and then send round his wife 
Turesh with what he had caught. But he commanded the people 
to ask no questions, and never to attempt to look at Turesh's face. 
But one day an Aino in one of the huts was not content with 
being fed for nothing, and disobeyed Okikurumi's commands. He 
wished to see who the woman was that came round every day with 
food. So he waited till her hand was stretched in at the window, 
seized hold of it, and pulled her in by main force. She screamed and 
struggled; and, when she was inside the hut, she turned into a 
wriggling, writhing dragon. The sky darkened, the thunder crashed, 
the dragon vanished, and the hut was consumed by lightning. Oki- 
kurumi was very angry at what the man had done. So he left off 
feeding the people, and went away, none knew whither. That is why 
the Ainos have been poor and miserable ever since that time. — 
(Written down from memory. Told by Kuteashguru, July, 1886.) 



xvi. — How it was settled who should rule the World. 

When the Creator had finished creating this world of men, the 
good and the bad gods were all mixed together promiscuously, and 
began disputing for the possession of the world. They disputed, 
— the bad gods wanting to be at the head of the government of this 
world, and the good gods likewise wanting to be at the head. So the 
following arrangement was agreed to : Whoever, at the time of sun- 
rise, should be the first to see the luminary, should rule the world. 
If the bad gods should be the first to see it rise, then they should 
rule ; and if the good gods should be the first, then they should rule. 
Thereupon both the bad Gods and the brilliant gods looked towards 

C2 



20 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

the place wliere the luminary was to rise. But the fox[-god] alone 
stood looking towards the west. After a little time, the fox cried 
out : " I see the sunrise." On the gods, both bad and good, turning 
round and gazing, they saw in truth the refulgence of the luminary in 
the west. This is the cause for which the brilliant gods rule the 
world.— (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 10th July, 1886.) 



xvii. — The Man who lost his Wife. 

A man had lost his wife, and was searching for her everywhere, 
over hill and dale, forest and sea-shore. At last he came to a wide 
plain, on which stood an oak-tree. Going up to it he found it to be 
not so much an oak-tree as a house, in which dwelt a kind-looking 
old man. Said the old man: "I am the god of the oak-tree. I 
know of your loss, and have seen your faithful search. Best here 
awhile, and refresh yourself by eating and smoking. After that, if 
you hope to find your wife again, you must obey my orders, which are 
as follows : Take this golden horse, get on his back, fly up on him to 
the sky, and, when you get there, ride about the streets, constantly 
singing." 

So the man mounted the horse, which was of pure gold. The 
saddle and all the trappings were of gold also. As soon as he was in 
the saddle, the horse flew up to the sky. There the man found a 
world like ours, but more beautiful. There was an immense city in 
it ; and up and down the streets of that city, day after day, he rode, 
singing all the while. Every one in the sky stared at him, and all 
the people put their hands to their noses, saying : '' How that creature 
from the lower world stinks ! " At last the stench became so into- 
lerable to them that the chief god of the sky came and told him that 
he should be made to find his wife if only he would go away. There- 
upon the man flew back to earth on his golden horse. Alighting at 
the foot of the oak-tree, he said to the oak-god : " Here am I. I 
did as you bade me. But I did not find my wife." " Wait a 
moment," said the oak-god ; " you do not know what a tumult has 
been caused by your visit to the sky, neither have I yet told you that 
it was a demon who stole your wife. This demon, looking up from 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 21 

hell below, was so much astonished to see and hear you riding up 
and down the streets of heaven singing, that his gaze is still fixed 
in that direction. I will profit hereby to go round quietly, while 
his attention is absorbed, and let your wife out of the box in which he 
keeps her shut up." 

The oak-god did as he had promised. He brought back the 
woman, and handed over both her and the gold horse to the man, 
saying: "Do not use this horse to make any more journeys to the 
sky. Stay on earth, and breed from it." The couple obeyed his 
commands, and became very rich. The gold horse gave birth to two 
horses, and these two bred likewise, till at last horses filled all the 
land of the Ainos. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishan- 
ashte, 21st July, 1886 ) 

xix. — Sunrise. 

When the sun rises at the head of the world [t.e. in the east], a 
devil tries to swallow it. But some one thrusts two or three crows or 
foxes into the devil's mouth. Meanwhile the sun mounts on high. 
The creatures, than which there are none more numerous in this 
world, are the crows and the foxes. That is why things are thus. In 
return for this service of theirs, the crows and foxes share in all man's 
eatables. It is because of the above fact. — (Translated literally. Told 
by Penri, 13th July, 1886.) 



II.— MOKAL TALES, 
xxi. — The Kind Giver and the Grudging Giver. 

A certain man had laid his net across the river ; having laid his 
net, he killed a quantity of fish. Meanwhile there came a raven, and 
perched beside him. It seemed to be greatly hungering after the fish. 
It was much to be pitied. So the fisherman washed one of the fish, 
and threw it to the raven. The raven ate the fish with great joy. 
Afterwards the raven came again. Though it was a raven, it spoke 
thus, just like a human being : <' I am very grateful for having been 



22 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

fed on fish by yon. If you will come with me to my old father, ho 
too will thank yon. So you had better come." 

The man went with the raven. Being a raven, it flew through the 
air. The man followed it on foot. After they had gone a long way, 
they came to a large house. When they got there, the raven went 
into the house. The man went in also. When he looked, it appeared 
like a human being in form, though it was a raven. There were also 
a divine old man and a divine old woman besides the divine girl. 
This girl was she who had led the man hither. The divine old man 
spoke thus : " I am very grateful to you. As I am very grateful to 
you for feeding my daughter with good fish, I have had you brought 
here in order to reward you." Thus spoke the divine old man. 

Then there were a gold puppy and a silver puppy. Both these 
puppies were given to the man. The divine old man spoke thus : 
" Though I should give you treasures, it would be useless. But if I 
give you these puppies, you will be greatly benefited. As for the 
excrements of these two puppies, the gold puppy excretes gold and 
the silver puppy excretes silver. This being so, you will be greatly 
enriched if you sell these excrements to the ofQcials. Understand 
this ! " Then the man, with respectful salutations, went away, 
carrying with him the two puppies, and came to his own house. 
Then he gave the puppies a little food at a time. When the gold 
puppy excreted, it excreted gold for him. When the silver puppy 
excreted, it excreted silver for him. The man greatly enriched 
himself by selling the metal. 

Thereupon another man, for the sake of imitation, set his net in the 
river. He killed a quantity of fish. Then the raven came. - The 
man smeared a fish with mud, and then threw it to the raven. The 
raven flew away with it. The man went after it, and at last, after 
going a long way, reached a large house. He went in there. The 
divine old man was very angry. He spoke thus : " You man are a 
man with a very bad heart. When you gave my daughter a fish, you 
gave it smeared all over with mud. I am very angry. Still, though 
I am angry, I will give you some puppies, as you have come to my 
house. U you treat them properly, you will be benefited." Thus 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 23 

spoke the divine old man, and gave a gold puppy and a silver puppy 
to the man. With a bow, the man went home with them. 

The man thought thus : " If I feed the puppies plentifully, they will 
excrete plenty of metal. It would be foolish to have them excreting 
only a little at a time. So I will do that, and become very rich." 
Thinking thus, he fed the puppies plentifully on anything, even on 
dirty things. Then they excreted no metal for him. They only 
excreted dirty dung. The man's house was full of nothing but dirty 
dung. As for the former man, who had received puppies from the 
divine old man, he fed his on nothing but good food, a little at a 
time. Gradually they excreted metal for him. He was greatly 
enriched. 

Thus in ancient times, with regard to men who wished to grow 
rich, they could grow rich if their hearts were as good as possible. 
As'^or bad-hearted men, the gods became angry at all their various 
misdeeds. It was for this reason that, on account of their anger, even 
a gold puppy excreted nothing but dung. As for the house of that 
bad-hearted man, it grew so full of dung as to be too dirty for other 
people to enter. This being so, oh ! men, do not be bad-hearted. 
That is the story which I have heard. — (Translated literally. Told 
by Ishanashte, 20th July, 1886.) 

xxii. — The Man who was changed into a Fox. 

A certain man's conduct was as follows : he went to every place, 
making it his business to do 'nothing but tell lies and extort things 
from people. Then, after a time, when wanting to extort again, he 
went on to another place. While walking along he used to think of 
what lies he could tell. Afterwards he heard a voice. It was not 
human language. He walked saying — "Pau! pau!"* When he 
looked at his own body, it was a fox's. Then he thought that, whether 
he might return to his own village, or go to another place, the dogs 
would kill him. So, with tears, he went away from the road into the 
mountains. There he found a large, leafy oak-tree. He lay down 
crying beneath it. 

* An onomatopoeia for the bark of the fox, 



24 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

Then he fell asleep. He dreamt that there was a large house He 
was outside of that house. A divine woman came out of it, and spoke 
thus : " Oh ! what a bad man ! what a villain ! You have become a 
bad god, a devil, as a divine punishment for your misdeeds. Being 
thus made into a devil, why do you come and stand near my house ? 
I should like to leave you alone. But as T am this tree, which is 
made the chief of trees by heaven, and as it would defile me to have 
you die beside my house, I will turn you into a man again and send 
you home. Do not misbehave yourself henceforth ! " Thus spoke the 
divine woman. 

Such was his dream. Meanwhile the branches at the top of the 
tree broke, and came crashing down, and he was greatly frightened. 
But when he started up, he was a man again. Then he worshipped 
the tree. Then he returned home. Then afterwards he did not 
misbehave. So also must you not misbehave, you men who live now ! 
—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 19th July, 1886.) 

xxiii. — The Rat Boy. 

In a certain village there lived a very rich couple ; but they were 
childless. They were very anxious for a child. But one day, as the 
wife went to the mountains to fetch wood, she found a little boy crying 
beside a tree. Kejoiced at this, she took him down with her to the 
village. Thenceforth they kept the boy with them. It was a place 
where there was plenty of deer and also of fish ; it was a place pro- 
vided with all the things which people like to eat. But though they 
hunted the deer, they could not catch them ; though they angled for 
the fish, they could not catch them. They were very hungry. Hearing 
that great quantities both of fish and of deer were killed in the village 
next to theirs, towards the mountains, the wife went off to buy food 
there, taking the child with her. She went to the village next to 
theirs, towards the mountains. She went to the house of the chief. 

The woman looked and saw fish hanging on poles, and flesh hanging 
on poles. With tears she longed for some. She went in, she went 
in to the chief's house. Then she stayed there. She was feasted on 
the best bits of the fish and on the best bits of the flesh. After that, 
as she lay down with her little boy, he rose quietly in the niiddle of 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 25 

the night. Then there was the sound of a rat nibbling at the fish and 
flesh on the poles. The woman thought it very strange. So at dawn 
the boy came quietly back, lay down by the woman's side, and slept 
there till the day was bright. The people of the house rose, and the 
chief went out and mumbled thus to himself: " Never were there such 
rats as this. There have been rats nibbling my good fish and my 
good flesh." 

So the woman bought a quantity of fish and flesh and went off with 
it. She wanted the little boy to walk in front of her ; but he disliked 
to do so. He would only walk after her. Then there was the sound 
of a rat nibbling at her load. When she looked back, the little boy 
was grinning. So they went on ; they went home. Then she put 
both the fish and the flesh into the store-house. Then she whispered 
to her husband. Then her husband went into the next room, and 
made a trap. Then the trap was set in the store-house. Then they 
went to bed. The little boy lay between the woman and her husband ; 
but after awhile he quietly rose and went out. He stayed away, with- 
out coming back. Daylight came. On the man of the house going 
into the store-house, there was a large rat in the trap. So he brought 
it down, beat it to death, and swept it on to the dust-heap. That 
night he had a dream. A person of divine aspect spoke to him thus ; 
" You were childless, and wanting to have a child. The most wicked 
of the rats, seeing this, took the shape of a little boy, and dwelt in 
your house. For this reason, your village has been polluted. But 
as you have now killed the rat, all will now be right. I am sorry for 
you, so you shall have a child." Thus did he dream that the god 
spoke to him. As it was true, they got a child, though they had 
been childless. 

For this reason, whether it be on the shore or in the mountains or 
anywhere else that one finds either a child or a puppy, one should not 
let it dwell in one's house without knowing its origin. — (Translated 
literally. Told by Penri, 20th July 1886.) 

xxiv. — DonH throw Useful Things away, 
A certain man had a little boy. A divine little boy and a divine 



26 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

little girl used to come and play with him every day. But the little 
boy alone could see them. His parents could not see them, but 
believed their child to be alone. 

Now one day he fell ill, and during his illness his two playmates 
did not come to see him. Only at the very last did they come, when 
he seemed to be on the point of death. Then they came, and the 
little girl said : " "We know the cause of your illness. Your grand- 
father possessed a beautiful axe. I myself am a small tray which he 
fashioned with that axe, and the little boy who comes with me is a 
pestle which was also fashioned with it. So the axe was our chieftain, 
and we are its children. But your father has been bad. He has 
thrown away the axe, which is now rusting under the floor. For this 
reason are you ill, in order to punish your father, because our chieftain 
the axe is angry. Therefore, as we were your playmates, we have come 
to warn you that, if you wish to live, you must tell your father to 
search for the axe, to polish it, to make a new handle for it, and to 
set up the divine symbols in its honour. Then may you be cured, 
and the axe too will pay you a visit in human shape." 

So the boy told his father of this. The father thought that his son 
had been instructed in a dream. He searched under the floor of the 
house, and found the axe. and polished it, and made a new handle for 
it, and set up the divine symbols in its honour. Then his son was 
immediately healed. 

After that, the axe (who appeared as a very handsome man), the 
tray, and the pestle all came, and became the little boy's brothers and 
sisters. The axe, being a god, knew all that went on and the causes 
of everything ; and it and the tray and the pestle used always to tell 
the boy everything. Thus, if any one was sick, he knew why the 
sickness had come, and how it should be treated. He was looked 
upon as a great soothsayer and wizard, who could turn death into 
life. This was because other people only saw him. They did not see 
his divine informants, the axe, the tray, and the pestle. 

For this reason never throw away anything that has belonged to 
your ancestors. You will be punished by the gods if you do so. 

[In a variant of this tale, the death of child after child borne by a 
certain woman was owing to the fact that the doll with which she 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 27 

herself had played as a child (a piece of wood shaped like a bird) had 
been thrown away in the grass, and had thus had its anger aroused. 
A conversation on the subject between the spoon, the cup, and the iron 
chain whereby the kettle is hung over the fire from a hook in the 
ceiling, is overheard by a half-burnt piece of firewood, who warns the 
woman's husband in a dream. The doll is then looked for ; and, 
when found, the divine symbols are set up in its honour. Thereupon 
the woman bears again. This time the child survives, to the delight 
of both its parents.] — (Written down from memory. Told by 
Ishanashte, 2nd December, 1886.) 



XXV. — The Wicked Wizard jyunished. 

One day a wizard told a man whom he knew that, if any one were 
to climb a certain mountain-peak and jump off on to the belt of clouds 
below, he would be able to ride about on them as on a horse, and see 
the whole world. Trusting in this, the man did as the wizard had 
told him, and in very truth was enabled to ride about on the clouds. 
He visited the whole world in this fashion, and brought back a map 
which he had drawn of the whole world both of men and of gods. 
On arriving back at the mountain-peak in Aino-land, he stepped off 
the cloud on to the mountain, and, descending to the valley, told the 
wizard how successful and delightful the journey had been, and 
thanked him for the opportunity kindly granted him of seeing sights 
so numerous and so strange. 

The wizard was overcome with astonishment. For what he had 
told the other man was a lie, a wicked lie invented with the sole 
intention of causing his death ; for he hated him. Nevertheless, 
seeing that what he had simply meant for an idle tale was apparently 
an actual fact, he decided to see the world himself in this easy fashion. 
So, ascending the mountain-peak, and seeing a belt of clouds a short 
way below, he jumped off on to it, but was instantly dashed to pieces 
in the valley below. 

That night the god of the mountain appeared to the good man in a 
dream, and said : " The wizard has met with the death which his 
fraud and folly deserve. You I kept from hurt, because you are a 



28 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

good man. So when, obedient to the wizard's advice, you leapt off 
on to the cloud, I bore you up, and showed you the world in order to 
make you a wiser man. Let all men learn from this how wickedness 
leads to condign punishment ! " — (Written down from memory. Told 
by Ishanashte, 21st July, 1886.) 

xxvi. — The Angry Crow. 

A man came to a certain village — whence was not known, — dressed 
only in fine black robes. While he was there, some rice-beer was 
brewed. On being given some of it to drink, he was very joyful, and 
then danced. Then, as he went out-of-doors, he re-entered the house 
with a piece of hard dung in his mouth, and put it in the alcove. As 
the master of the house became angry and beat him, he, being a large 
crow, flew out of the window, making the sound " Ka ! ka ! " For 
this reason, even crows are creatures to be dreaded. Be very careful T 
—(Translated literally. Told by Penri, 11th July, 1886.) 

[In another version of this story, communicated to me by Mr John 
Batchelor, the crow, enraged at not having received an invitation to a 
feast given by some of the more handsome birds, flies high into the 
air with a piece of hard dung in its mouth, and lets it drop into the 
middle of the party, to the great confusion of the guests. Some of 
the smaller birds take counsel together as to the advisability of 
interfering to restore the harmony of the occasion, but finally decide 
that it is not for them, who were also omitted from the list of invita- 
tions, to mix themselves up with such a matter. Moral : If you give 
a feast, ask all your friends to it. If any are left out, they are sure 
to feel hurt.] 

xxvii. — OUhurumi, Samayunguru, and the Shark. 

Okikurumi and his henchman Samayunguru went out one day to 
sea, and speared a large shark, which ran away, up and down the sea, 
with the line and the boat. The two men grew very tired of pulling 
at him, and could not prevent the boat from being pulled about in all 
directions. Their hands were bloody and blistered both on the backs 
and on the palms, till at last Samayunguru sank dead in the bottom 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 29 

of the boat. At last Okikurumi could hold on no longer, and he 
cursed the shark, saying : " You bad shark ! I will cut the rope. 
But the tip of the harpoons, made half of iron and half of bone, shall 
remain sticking in your flesh ; and you shall feel in your body the 
reverberation of the iron and the scraping of the bone ; and on your 
skin shall grow the rasM^)a-tree and the shmr'i-tree of which the spear- 
handle is made, and the 7ia?-grass by which the tip of the harpoon is 
tied to the body of it, and the nipesh-iYeQ of which the rope tying the 
harpoon itself is made, so that, though you are such a mighty fish, 
you shall not be able to swim in the water ; and you shall die, and at 
last be washed ashore at the river-mouth of Saru ; and even the 
carrier-crows and the dogs and foxes will not eat you, but will only 
void their foeces upon you, and you shall at last rot away to earth." 

The shark laughed, thinking this was merely a human being telling 
a falsehood. Okikurumi cut the rope, and, after a long time, managed 
to reach the land. Then he revived Samayunguru, who had been 
dead And afterwards the shark died and was washed ashore at the 
river-mouth of Saru ; and the tip of the harpoon made half of iron 
and half of bone had stuck in its flesh ; and it had felt in its body the 
reverberation of the hammering of the iron and the scraping of the 
bone ; and in its skin were growing the rasupa-ivQQ and the shiuri- 
tree of which the spear-handle used by Okikurumi was made, and the 
hai-grass by which the tip of the harpoon was tied to the body of it, 
and the nipesh-tree of which the rope tying the harpoon itself was 
made ; and even the carrion-crows and the dogs and foxes would not 
eat the bad shark, but only voided their foeces upon him ; and at last 
he rotted away to earth. 

Therefore take warning, oh ! sharks of the present day, lest you die 
as this shark died ! — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishan- 
ashte, 24th November, 1886.) 



30 AINO FOLK-LORE. 



III.— TALES OF THE PANAUMBE AND PENAUMBE 

CYCLE.* 

xxviii. — Panaumbe, Penaumbe, and the Weeping Foxes. 

There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to 
tbe bank of a river, and called out : " Oh ! you fellows on the cliff 
behind yonder cliff ! Ferry me across ! " They replied : " We must 
first scoop out a boat. Wait for us ! " After a little while Panaumbe 
called out again. " We have no pole-," said they ; " we are going 
to make some poles. Wait for us ! " After a little longer, he called 
out a third time. They replied thus : " We are coming for you, 
Wait for us ! " Then the boat started, — a big boat all full of foxes. 

So Panaumbe, having first seized hold of a good bludgeon, feigned 
dead. Then the foxes arrived, and spoke thus : " Panaumbe ! You 
are to be pitied. Were you frozen to death, or were you starved to 
death ? " With these words, all the foxes came up close to him, and 
wept. Thereupon Panaumbe brandished his bludgeon, struck all the 
foxes, and killed them. Only one fox did he let go, after breaking 
one of its legs. As for the rest, having killed them all, he carried 
them home to his house, and grew very rich [by selling their flesh 
and their skins]. 

Then Penaumbe came down to him, and spoke thus : " Whereas 
you and I were both equally poor, how did you kill such a number of 
foxes, and thereby become rich?" Panaumbe replied: "If you will 
come and dine with me, I will instruct you." But Penaumbe at once 
said : " I have heard all about it before." With these words he 
befouled the door-sill, and went out. 

Descending to the bank of the river, he called, crying out as 
Panaumbe had done. The reply was : " We are going to make a 
boat. Wait for us I " After a little while, he called out again. 
They replied : " We are going to make the poles. Wait for us ! " 

* Panaumbe means " the person on the lower course of the stream." Penaumbe 
means " the person on the upper course of the stream." Couf. Aino " Memoir," 
p. 28. 



AINO FOLK-LORiJ. 3l 

After a little longer, they started, — a whole boatful of foxes. So 
Penaumbe first feigned dead. Then the foxes arrived, and said : 
" Penaumbe here is to be pitied. Did he die of cold ? or did he die 
from want of food?" With these words, they all came close to 
Penaumbe and wept. But one fox among them, a fox who limped, 
spoke thus : *' I remember something which once happened. Weep 
at a greater distance ! " So all the foxes sat and wept ever further 
and further away. Penaumbe was unable to kill any of those foxes ; 
and, as he brandished his bludgeon, they all ran away. He did not 
catch a single one, and he himself died a miserable death. — (Literal 
translation. Told by Ishanashte, 23rd July, 1886.) 

XKX.'^Panaumhe, Penaumbe, and the Sea-Lion. 

There were Panaumbe and Penaumbe. Panaumbe went down to 
the sea-shore, and walked up and down upon the sand. Then he saw 
a sea-lion in the water. He wanted to catch that sea-lion, and eat 
its flesh. So he called out to it : " Oh ! Mr. Sea- Lion, if you will 
come here, I will pick the lice out of your head." The sea-lion was 
very glad to have the lice picked out of its liead. So it swam to 
him. Then he pretended to pick the lice out of its head. But in 
reality he picked the flesh off its head, and the fat, and ate it. Then 
he said : " All the lice are picked off. You may go." After the 
sea-lion had swum a short way, it put its paw up to its head, in order 
to see whether the lice had really all been taken off. Then it felt 
that its flesh and fat were all gone, and that only the bones remained. 
So it was very angry, and swam back quickly towards the shore, to 
catch Panaumbe and kill him. 

Panaumbe, when he saw the sea-lion pursuing him, ran inland 
towards the mountains. After running some time, he reached a place 
where the path divided. An old crow was pei'ching on a tree there, 
and said : " Right or left 1 right or left ! I see a clever man." The 
road to the right was broad, and the road to the left was narrow, 
because it was in a valley which ended in a point. Panaumbe thought 
thus : '' If I take the broad path to the right, the sea-lion will over- 
take me, and kill me. But if I take the narrow path to the left, he 



32 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

will run so fast that he will get stuck at the end of the narrow 
valley, and I, being small, can slip out between his legs, and beat in 
his head from behind, and kill him." So Panaumbe ran along the 
narrow path to the left, and the sea-lion pursued him. But the sea- 
lion ran so heedlessly and quickly that it got stuck at the end of the 
narrow valley. Then Panaumbe slipped out between the sea-lion's 
legs, and beat in his head from behind, and killed him, and took 
home his flesh and his skin. Then Panaumbe became very rich. 

Afterwards Penaumbe came down to him, and said : " You and I 
were both poor. How is it that you are now so rich ? " Panaumbe 
said : " If you will come and dine with me, I will instruct you." So 
they went together to Panaumbe's house, where Panaumbe's mother, 
and his wife and children, were eating the flesh of the sea-lion. But 
Penaumbe, when he had heard what Panaumbe had done, said : 
" I knew that before." Then he stepped in the dishes set before 
Panaumbe's mother and wife and children, and spilt their food. Then 
befouled the threshold, and went away. 

Penaumbe went down to the sea-shore, and saw a sea-lion, as 
Panaumbe had done. He called out to the sea-lion : " Oh ! Mr. 
Sea-Lion, if you will come here, I will pick the lice out of your head." 
So the sea-lion swam to him. Then Penaumbe pretended to pick 
the lice out of its head. But in reality he picked the flesh and the 
fat off its head, and left nothing but the bones. The sea-lion felt a 
little pain, but thought that it was owing to the lice being picked 
out. So, when Penaumbe had finished picking and eating the flesh 
off its head, it swam away. But afterwards, feeling the pain more 
sharply, the sea-lion put its paw up to its head, and found that 
nothing but bone was left. So it was very angry, and swam back 
quickly towards the shore, to catch Penaumbe and kill him. 

Penaumbe, when he saw the sea-lion pursuing him, ran inland 
towards the mountains. After running some time, he reached the 
place where the path divided. The old crow, which was perching on 
the tree, said : " Left or right ! left or right ! I see a fool." 
Penaumbe took the broad road to the right, in order to be able to 
run more easily. But the sea-lion ran more quickly than he could, 
and caught him and ate him up. Then Penaumbe died. But if he 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 33 

had listened to advice he might have become a rich man like 

Panaumbe.— (Written down from memory. Told by Kannariki, 
June, 1886.) 



xxxu.—Di'inking the Sea dry. 

There was the Chief of the Mouth of the River and the Chief of 
the Upper Current of the River. The former was very vainglorious, 
and therefore wished to put the latter to shame, or to kill him by 
engaging him in the attempt to perform something impossible. So 
he sent for him, and said : "The sea may be a useful thing, in so far 
as it is the original home of the fish which come up the river. But it 
is very destructive in stormy weather, when it beats wildly upon the 
beach. Do you now drink it dry, so that there may be rivers and 
dry land only. If you cannot do so, then forfeit all your possessions." 
The other (greatly to the vainglorious man's surprise) said : " I 
accept the challenge." 

So, on their going down together to the beach, the Chief of the 
Upper Current of the River took a cup, and scooped up a little of the 
sea-water with it, drank a few drops, and said : "In the sea-water 
itself there is no harm. It is some of the rivers flowing into it that 
are poisonous. Do you therefore first close the mouths of all the 
rivers both in Aino-land and in Japan, and prevent them from flowing 
into the sea, and then I will undertake to drink the sea dry." Here- 
upon the Chief of the Mouth of the River felt ashamed, acknowledged 
his error, and gave all his treasures to his rival. — (Written down from 
memory. Told by Ishanashte, 18tli November, 1886.) 



IV.— MISCELLANEOUS TALES. 

xxxiv. — The Worship of the Salmon, the Divine Fish. 

A certain Aino went out in a boat to catch fish in the sea. While 
he was there, a great wind arose, so that he drifted about for six 
nights. Just as he was like to die, land came in sight. Being borne 

Vol. 6. — Part 1. d 



84 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

on to the beach by the waves, he quietly stepped ashore, where he 
found a pleasant rivulet. Having walked up the bank of this rivulet 
for some distance, he saw a populous place. Near the place were 
crowds of people, both men and women. Going on to it, and entering 
the house of the chief, he found an old man of very divine aspect. 
That old man said to him : " Stay with us a night, and we will send 
you home to your country to-morrow. Do you consent ?" 

So the Aino spent the night with the old chief. When next day 
came, the old chief spoke thus : " Some of my people, both men and 
women, are going to your country for purposes of trade. So, if you 
will be led by them, you will be able to go home. When they take 
you with them in the boat, you must lie down, and not look about 
you, but completely hide your head. If you do that, you may return. 
If you look, my people will be angry. Mind you do not look." 
Thus spoke the old chief. 

Well, there was a whole fleet of boats, inside of which crowds of 
people, both men and women, took passage. There were as maoy as 
five score boats, which all started off together. The Aino lay down 
inside one of them and hid his head, while the others made the boats 
go to the music of a pretty song. He liked this much. After 
awhile, they reached the land. When they had done so, the Aino, 
peeping a little, saw that there was a river, and that they were 
drawing water with dippers from the mouth of the river, and sipping 
it. They said to each other : " How good this water is ! " Half the 
fleet went up the river. But the boat in which the Aino was went on 
its voyage, and at last reached his native place, whereupon the sailors 
threw the Aino into the water. He thought he had been dreaming 
Afterwards he came to himself. The boat and its sailors had disap- 
peared — whither he could not tell. But he went to his house, and, 
falUng asleep, dreamt a dream. He dreamt that the same old chief 
appeared to him and said : "I am no human being. I am the chief 
of the salmon, the divine fish. As you seemed in danger of dying in 
the waves, I drew you to me and saved your life. You thought you 
only stayed with me one night. But in truth that night was a whole 
year. When it was ended, I sent you back to your native place. So 
I shall be truly grateful if henceforth you will offer rice-beer to me, 



AINO FOLK-LOlii:. 35 

set up the divine symbols in my honour, and worship me with the 
words ' I make a libation to the chief of the salmon, the divine fish.'" 
If you do not worship me, you will become a poor man. Remember 
this well ! " Such were the words which the divine old man spoke to 
him in his dream. — (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 17th 
July, 1886.) 

XXXV. — The Hunter in Hades. 

A handsome and brave young man, who was skilful in the chase, 
one day pursued a large bear into the recesses of the mountains. On 
and on ran the bear, and still the young fellow pursued it up heights 
and crags more and more dangerous, but without ever being able to 
get near enough to shoot it with his poisoned arrows. At last, on a 
bleak mountain-summit, the bear disappeared down a hole in the 
ground. The young man followed it in, and found himself in an 
immense cavern, at the far end of which was a gleam of light. 
Towards this he groped his way, and, on emerging, found himself 
in another world. Everything there was as in the world of men, but 
more beautiful. There were trees, houses, villages, human beings. 
With these, however, the young hunter had no concern. What he 
wanted was his bear, which had totally disappeared. The best plan 
seemed to be to seek it in the remoter mountain district of this new 
world underground. So he followed up a valley ; and, being tired 
and hungry, picked the grapes and mulberries that were hanging to 
the trees, and ate them as he trudged along. 

Happening suddenly, for some reason or other, to look down upon 
his own body, what was not his horror to find himself transformed 
into a serpent I His very cries and groans, on making the discovery, 
were turned into serpent's hisses. What was he to do ? To go back 
like this to his native world, where snakes are hated, would be certain 
death. No plan presented itself to his mind. But, unconsciously, 
he wandered, or rathei: crept and glided, back to the entrance of the 
cavern that led home to the world of men ; and there, at the foot of a 
pine-tree of extraordinary size and height, he fell asleep. 

To him then, in a dream, appeared the goddess of the pine-trcCj 

d2 



36 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

and said : " I am sorry to see you in this state. Why did you eat 
of the poisonous fruits of Hades ? The only thing you can do to 
recover your proper shape is to climb to the top of this pine-tree, and 
fling yourself down. Then you may, perhaps, become a human being 
again." 

On waking from this dream, the young man, — or rather snake, as 
he still found himself to be, — was filled half with hope and half with 
fear. But he resolved to follow the goddess' advice. So, gliding up 
the tall pine-tree, he reached its topmost branch, and, after hesitating 
a few moments, flung himself down. Crash he went. On corning to 
his senses, he found himself standing at the foot of the tree ; and 
close by was the body of an immense serpent, ripped open so as to 
allow of his having crawled out of it. After offering up thanks to 
the pine-tree, and setting up the divine symbols in its honour, he 
hastened to retrace his steps through the long, tunnel-like cavern, 
through which he had originally entered Hades. After walking for 
a certain time, he emerged into the world of men, to find himself on 
the mountain-top, whither he had pursued the bear which he had 
never seen again. 

On reaching his home, he went to bed, and dreamt a second time. 
It was the same goddess of the pine-tree, that appeared before him 
and said : " I have come to tell you that you cannot stay long in the 
world of men after once eating the grapes and mulberries of Hades. 
There is a goddess in Hades who wishes to marry you. She it was 
who, assuming the form of a bear, lured you into the cavern, and 
thence to the under- wo rid. You must make up your mind to come 
away." 

And so it fell out. The young man awoke ; but a grave sickness 
overpowered him. A few days later he went a second time to Hades, 
and returned no more to the land of the living. — (Written down from 
memory. Told by Ishanashte, 22nd July, 1886.) 

xxxvi. — An Inquisitive Man's Experience of Hades. 

Three generations before my time there lived an Aino who wished 
to find out whether the stories told about the existence of an under- 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 37 

world were true. So one day he penetrated into an immense cavern 
(since washed away by the waves) at the river-mouth of Sarubutsu. 
All was dark in front, all was dark behind. But at last there was a 
glimmer of light a-head. The man went on, and soon emerged into 
Hades. There were trees, and villages, and rivers, and the sea, and 
large junks loading fish and seaweed. Some of the people were 
Ainos, some were Japanese, just as in the every-day world. Among 
the number were some whom he had known when they were alive. 
But, tljough he saw them, they, — strange to say, — did not seem to see 
him. Indeed he was invisible to all, excepting to the dogs ; for dogs 
see everything, even spirits, and the dogs of Hades barked at him 
fiercely. Hereupon the people of the place, judging that some evil 
spirit had come among them, threw him dirty food, such as evil 
spirits eat, in order, as they thought, to appease him. Of course he 
was disgusted, and flung the filthy fish-bones and soiled rice away 
But every time that he did so the stuff immediately returned to the 
pocket in his bosom, so that he was greatly distressed. 

At last, entering a fine-looking house near the beach, he found his 
father and mother, — not old, as they were when they died, but in the 
heyday of youth and strength. He called to his mother, but she ran 
away trembling. He clasped his father by the hand, and said : 
" Father ! don't you know me ? can't you see me ? I am your son." 
But his father fell yelling to the ground. So he stood aloof again, 
and watched how his parents and the other people in the house set 
up the divine symbols, and prayed in order to make the evil spirit 
depart. 

In his despair at being unrecognized he did depart, with the 
unclean offerings that had been made to him still sticking to his 
person, notwithstanding his endeavours to get rid of them. It was 
only when, after passing back through the cavern, he had emerged 
once more into the world of men, that they left him free from their 
pollution. He returned home, and never wished to visit Hades again. 
It is a foul place. — (Written dow» froni memory. Told by Ishan- 
ashte, 22na July, 1886.) 



38 AINO FOLIt-LORE, 



xxxvii. — The Child of a God. 

There was a very beautiful woman, who was still without a hus- 
band, A man had already been fixed upon to become her husband, 
but he had not yet lain with her. Nevertheless the woman suddenly 
was with child. For this reason she was greatly surprised. As for 
other people, they thought thus : " She has probably become with 
child through lying with some other man." That was what other 
people said. The man who was to be her husband was very angry. 
But he could not know whence it was that she was with child. 

Then she was delivered. She bore a little snake. She was greatly 
ashamed. Her mother took the little snake, went out, and spoke 
thus, with tears : '' "What god has deigned to beget a child in my 
daughter ? Though he should deign to beget one, it would at least 
be well if he had begotten a human child. But this little snake we 
human beings cannot keep. As it is the child of the god who begot 
it, he may as well keep it." So saying, she threw it away. Then 
the old woman went in. 

This being so, afterwards there was the noise of a baby crying. 
The old woman went out, and looked. It was a nice baby. Then the 
old woman carried it in. The woman who had given birth to the 
child rejoiced with tears. Then the baby was found to be a boy, and 
was kept. Gradually he grew big. After a time he became a man. 
Then, being a very fine man, he killed large numbers both of deer 
and of bears. 

The woman who had given birth to him was alone astonished. 
What had happened was that, while she slept, the light of the sun 
had shone upon her through the opening in the roof. Thus had she 
become with child. Then she dreamt a dream, which said : "I, 
being a god, have given you a child, because I love you. When you 
die, you shall truly become my wife. Your and my son, when he 
gets a wife, shall have plenty of children." The woman dreamt thus, 
and worshipped. Then that son of hers, when pursued by the bears, 
could not be caught. He was a great hunter, a very rich man. 

Then the woman died, without having had a human husband. 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 39 

Afterwards her son, getting a wife, had children, and became rich. 

His descendants are living to this day.— (Translated literally. Told 
by Penri, 21st July, 1886.) 



xxxviii. — Buying a Dream, 

A certain thickly populated village was governed by six chiefs, 
the oldest of whom lorded it over the other five. One day he made a 
feast, brewed some rice-beer, and invited the other five chiefs, and 
feasted them. When they were departing, he said : " To-morrow 
each of you must tell me the dream which he shall have dreamt over- 
night ; and if it is a good dream I will buy it." 

So next day four of the chiefs came and told their dreams. But 
they were all bad dreams, not worth buying. The fifth, however, did 
not come, though he was waited for at first, aud then sent for several 
times. At last, when brought by force, he would not open his lips. 
So the senior chief flew into a rage, and caused a hole to be dug in 
front of the door of his own house, and had the man buried in it up 
to his chin, and left there all that day and night. 

Now the truth was that the senior chief was a bad man, that the 
junior chief was a good man, and that this junior chief had forgotten 
his dream, but did not dare to say so. After dark, a kind god came 
and said : '' You are a good man. I am sorry for you, and will take 
you out of the hole." This he did ; and, at that very moment, the 
chief remembered how he had dreamt of having been led up the 
bank of a stream through the woods to the house of a goddess 
who smiled beautifully, and whose room was carpeted with skins ; 
how she had comforted him, fed him plenteously, and sent him 
home in gorgeous array, and with instructions for deceiving and 
killing his enemy, the senior chief. " I suppose you remember 
it all now," said the god; "it was I who caused you to forget 
it, and thus saved you from having it bought by the wicked senior 
chief, because I am pleased with the way in which you keep the 
privy clean, not even letting grass grow near it. And now I will 
show you the reality of that of which before you saw only the dream- 
image." 



40 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

So the man was led up the bank of a stream through the woods to 
the house of the goddess, who smiled beautifully, and whose room was 
carpeted with skins. She was the badger-goddess. She comforted 
him, fed him plenteously, and said : " You must deceive the senior 
chief, saying that the god of door-posts, pleased at your being buried 
near him, took you out, and gave you these beautiful clothes. He 
will then wish to have the same thing happen to him." So the man 
went back to the village, and appe»ared in all his splendid raiment 
before the senior chief, who had fancied him to be still in the hole, — 
a punishment which would be successful if it made him confess his 
dream, and also if it killed him. 

Then the good junior chief told him the lies in which the badger- 
goddess had instructed him. Thereuj^on the senior chief caused him- 
self to be buried in like fashion up to the neck, but sojn died of the 
effects. Afterwards the badger- goddess came down to the village, 
and married the good man, who became the senior of all the chiefs. — 
(Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 16th November, 
1886.) 

xxxix. — The Baby in the Box. 

There was once a woman who was tenderly loved by her husband. 
At last, after some years, she bore him a son. Then the father loved 
this son even more than he loved his wife. She therefore thought 
thus : " How pleasant it used to be formerly, when my husband loved 
me alone ! But now, since I have borne him this nasty child, he 
loves it more than he does me. It will be well for me to make away 
with it." 

Thus thinking, she waited till her husband had gone off bear- 
hunting in the mountains, and then put the baby into a box, which 
she took to the river and allowed to float away. Then she returned 
home. Later on, her husband came back ; and she, with feigned 

tears, told him that the baby had disappeared — stolen or strayed, 

and that she had vainly searched all round about the house and in 
the woods. The man lay down, like to die of grief, and refused all 
food. Only at length, when he saw that his wife, too, went without 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 41 

her food, did he begin to eat a little, fearing, in his affection for her, 
that she too might die of hunger. However, it was only when he 
was present that she fasted. She ate her fill behind his back. 

At last, one day, not knowing what to do to rouse him, she said to 
him : " Look here ! I will divert you with a story." Then she told 
him the whole story exactly as it had happened, being herself, all the 
while, under the delusion that she was telling him an ancient fairy- 
tale. Then he flew into a rage, took his bludgeon, beat her to death, 
and then threw her corpse out-of-doors. This was the way in which 
the gods chose to punish her. 

Then the husband, knowing now that his search must be made 
down the stream, started off. At last, after seeking for a long time, 
he came to a lonely house, where he found a very venerable-looking 
old man, an old woman, and their middle-aged daughter, and also a 
boy. He said to the old man : " I come to ask whether you know 
anything of my little boy, who was placed in a box and set to float 
down the stream." The old man replied : " One day, when my 
daughter here went to draw water from the river, she found a box 
with a little boy in it. We knew not whether the child was a human 
creature, a god, or a devil. So doubtless he is yours. We have kept 
the box too. Here it is. You can judge by looking at it." 

It turned out to be the same box, and the same boy. So the father 
rejoiced. Then the old man said : " Eemain here. I will give to you 
for wife this daughter of mine, my only child. Live with us as long 
as my old wife and I remain alive. Feed us, and then you shall 
inherit from me." The man did so. When the old people died, he 
inherited all their possessions ; and then, with his new wife and his 
beloved son, returned to his own village. So you see that, even 
among us Ainos, there are wicked women. — (Written down from 
memory. Told by Ishanashte, 17th November, 1886.) 

xli. — The Wicked Stepmother. 

In ancient days, when men were allowed to have several wives, a 
certain man had two — one about his own age, the other quite young, — 



42 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

and lie loved them both with equal tenderness. But when the younger 
of the two bore him a daughter, his love for his daughter made him 
also perhaps a little fonder of the mother of the child than of his 
other wife, to the latter's great rage. She revolved in her mind what 
to do, and at last feigned a grave illness, pretending not to be able 
even to eat, though she did eat when everybody's back was turned. 
At last, being to all appearance on the point of death, she declared 
hat one thing alone could cure her. She must have the heart of her 
little step-child to eat. 

On hearing this, the man felt very sad, and knew not what to do ; 
for he loved this wicked wife of his and his little daughter equally 
dearly. But at last he decided that he might more easily get another 
daughter than another wife whom he would love as much as he did 
this one. So he commanded two of his servants to carry off the child 
to the forest while her mother was not looking, to slay her there, and 
bring back her heart. So they took her. But, being merciful men, 
they slew, instead of her, a dog that came by that way, and brought 
the child back secretly to her mother, who was much frightened to 
hear what had happened, and who fled with the child. Meanwhile the 
dog's heart was brought to the step-mother, who was so overjoyed at 
the sight of it, that she declared she required no more. So, without 
even eating it, she left off pretending to be sick. 

For some time after this, she lived alone with her husband. But at 
last he was told of what had happened, and he grew very sullen. She, 
seeing this, wished for a livelier husband. So one day, when her 
husband was out hunting, a young man, beautifully dressed all in 
black, came and courted her, and she flirted with him, and showed 
him her breasts. Then they fled together, and came to a beautiful 
house with gold mats, where they slept together But when she woke 
in the morning it was not a house at all, but a rubble of leaves and 
branches in the midst of the forest ; and her new husband was nothing 
but a carrion-crow perching overhead, and her own body, too, was 
turned into a crow's, and she had to eat dung. 

But the former husband was warned in a dream to take back his 
younger wife and his child, and the three lived happily together ever 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 43 

after. From that time forward most men have left off the bad habit 
of having more than one wife. — (Written down from memory. Told 
by Ishanashte, November, 1886.) 

xlii. — The Clever Deceiver. 

A long, long time ago there was a rascal, who went to the moun- 
tains to fetch wood. As he did not know how to amuse himself, he 
climbed to the top of a very thick pine-tree Having munched some 
rice he stuck it about the branches of the tree, so as to make it look 
like birds' dung. Then he went back to the village, to the house of 
the chief, and spoke thus to him : " I have found a place where a 
beautiful peacock has its nest. Let us go there together ! Being 
such a poor man, I feel myself unworthy of going too near the divine 
bird. You, being a rich man, should take the peacock. It will be a 
great treasure for you. Let us go ! " 

So the chief went there with him. When the chief looked, there 
truly were many traces of birds' dung near the top of the tall pine- 
tree. He thought the peacock was there. So he said: "I do not 
know how to climb trees. Though you are a poor man you do know 
how to do so. So go and get the peacock, and I will reward you well. 
Go and get the divine peacock ! " So the poor man climbed the tree. 
When he was half way up it, he said : " Oh ! sir, your house seems 
to be on fire." The chief was much frightened. Owing to his being 
frightened, he was about to run home. Then the rascal spoke thus : 
'■ By this time your house is quite burnt down. There is no use in 
your running there." The rich man thought he would go anywhere 
to die ; so he went towards the mountains. After he had gone a 
short way, he thought thus : " You should go and see even the traces 
of your burnt house." So he went down there. When he looked, he 
found that his house was not burnt at all. He was very angry, and 
wanted to kill that rascal. Then the rascal came down. The chief 
commanded his servants, saying : " You fellows ! this man is not only 
poor, but a very badly behaved deceiver. Put him into a mat, and 
roll him up in it without killing him. Then throw him into the 
river. Do this ! " Thus spoke the chief. 

The servants put the rascal into the mat, and tied it round tight. 



44 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

Then two of them carried him between them on a pole to the river- 
bank. They went to the river. The rascal spoke thus : " Though I 
am a very bad man, I have some very precious treasures. Do you go 
and fetch them. If you do so, it can be arranged about their being 
given to you. Afterwards you can throw me into the river." Hearing 
this, the two servants went off to the rascal's house. 

Meanwhile a blind old man came along from somewhere or other. 
His foot struck against something wrapped up in a mat. Astonished 
at this, he tapped it with his stick. Then the rascal said : " Blind 
man ! If you will do as I tell you, the gods will give you eyes, and 
you will be able to see. So do so. If you will untie me and do as I 
tell you, I will pray to the gods, and your eyes will be opened." The 
blind old man was very glad. He untied the mat, and let the rascal 
out. Then the rascal saw that, though the man was old and blind, 
he was dressed very much like a god. The rascal said : " Take off 
your clothes and become naked, whereupon your eyes will quickly be 
opened." This being so, the blind old man took off his clothes. 
Then the rascal put him naked into the mat, and tied it round tight. 
Then he went off with the clothes, and hid. 

Shortly afterwards, the two men came, and said : " You rascal ! 
you are truly a deceiver. So, though you possess no treasures, you 
possess plenty of deceit. So now we shall fling you into the water." 
The blind old man said : " I am a blind old man. I am not that 
rascal. Please do not kill me ! " But he was forthwith flung into 
the river. Afterwards the two men went home to their master's 
house. 

Afterwards the rascal put on the blind old man's beautiful clothes. 
Then he went to the chief's house and said : " My appearance of mis- 
behaviour was not real. The goddess who lives in the river was very 
much in love with me. So she wanted to take and marry my spirit 
after I should have been killed by being thrown into the river. So 
my misdeeds are all her doing. Though I went to that goddess, I 
felt unworthy to become her husband, because I am a poor man. I 
have arranged so that you, who are the chief of the village, should go 
and have her, and I have come to tell you so. That being so, I am 
in these beautiful clothes because I come from the goddess." Thus he 



AINO FOLK-LORE. 45 

spoke. As the chief of the village saw that the rascal was dressed in 
nothing but the best clothes, and thought that he was speaking the 
truth, he said : " It will be well for me to be tied up in a mat, and 
flung into the river," Therefore this was done, just as had been done 
with the rascal, and he was drowned in the water. 

After that, the rascal became the chief, and dwelt in the drowned 
chief's house. Thus very bad men lived in ancient times also. So it 
is said. — (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 18th July, 1886.) 

xliii — YosJntsune. 

[It has been generally believed, both by Japanese and Europeans 
who have written about the Ainos, that the latter worship Yoshit- 
sune, a Japanese hero of the twelfth century, who is said, — not, 
indeed, by Japanese historians, but by Japanese tradition, — to have 
fled to Yezo when the star of his fortune had set. The following 
details concerning Yoshitsune bear so completely the stamp of the 
myth, that they may, perhaps, be allowed a place in this collection. 
It should be mentioned that Yoshitsune is known to the Ainos under 
the name of Hongai Sama. Savia is the Japanese for "Mr." or 
" Lord." Hongai is the form in which, according to a regular law of 
permutation affecting words adopted into Aino from Japanese, the 
word Hogwan, which was Yoshitsune's official title, appears ! The 
name of Hongai Sama is, however, used only in worship, not in the 
recounting of the myth. Mr. Batchelor, whose position as missionary 
to the Ainos must give his opinion great weight in such matters, 
thinks that the Ainos do not worship Yoshitsune. But I can only 
exactly record that which I was told myself.] 

Okikurumi, accompanied by his younger sister Tureshi[hi], had 
taught the Ainos all arts, such as hunting with the bow and arrow, 
netting and spearing fish, and many more ; and himself knew every- 
thing by means of two charms or treasures. One of these was a piece 
of writing, the other was an abacus ; and they told him whence the 
wind would blow, how many birds there were in the forest, and all 
sorts of other things. 



46 AINO rOLK-LOUE. 

One day there came, — none knew whence, — a man of divine appear- 
ance, whose name was unknown to all. He took up his abode with 
Okikurumi, and assisted the latter in all his labour with wonderful 
ability. He taught Okikurumi how to row with two oars instead of 
simply poling with one pole, as had been usual before in Aino-land. 
Okikurumi was delighted to obtain such a clever follower, and gave 
him his sister Tureshi[hi] in marriage, and treated him like his own 
son. For this reason the stranger got to know all about Oldkurumi's 
affair, even the place where he kept his two treasures. The result 
of this was that one day when Okikurumi was out hunting in the 
mountains the stranger stole these treasures and all that Okikurumi 
possessed, and then fled with his wife Tureshi in a boat, of which they 
each pulled an oar. Okikurumi returned from the mountains to his 
home by the seaside, and pursued them alone in a boat ; but could 
not come up to them, because he was only one against two. Then 
Tureshi excreted some large foeces in the middle of the sea, which 
became a large mountain in the sea, at whose base Oldkurumi 
arrived. But so high was it that Okikurumi could not climb over 
it. Moreover, even had not the height prevented him, the fact of its 
being nothing but filthy faeces would have done so. As for going 
round either side of it, that would have taken him too much out of 
the way. So he went home again, feeling quite spiritless and van- 
quished, because robbed of his treasures. 

This is the reason why, ever since, we Ainos have not been able to 
read. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, 25th 
November, 1886.) 



v.— SCRAPS OF FOLK-LORE. 

xliv. — The Good Old Times. 

In ancient days, rivers were very conveniently arranged. The 
water flowed down one bank, and up the other, so that you could go 
either way without the least trouble. Those were the days of magic. 
People were then able to fly six or seven miles, and to light on the 
trees like birds, when they went out hunting. But now the world is 



AlNO FOLK-LORE. 47 

decrepit, and all good things are gone. In those days people used 
the fire-drill. Also, if they planted anything in the morning, it grew 
up by mid-day. On the other hand, those who ate of this quickly- 
produced grain were transformed into horses, — (Written down from 
memory. Told by Ishanashte, November, 1886.) 

xlv. — The Old Man of the Sea. 

The Old Man of the Sea {Atui Tcoro eTcashi) is a monster able to 
swallow ships and whales. In shape it resembles a bag, and the 
suction of its mouth causes a frightfully rapid current. Once a boat 
was saved from this monster by one of the two sailors in it flinging 
his loin-cloth into the creature's open mouth. That was too nasty a 
morsel for even this monster to swallow ; so it let go its hold of the 
boat. — (Written down from memory. Told by Ishanashte, July, 
1886.) 

xlvi. — The Cuckoo. 

The male cuckoo is called kakkok, the female tiitut. Both are 
beautiful birds, and live in the sky. But in spring they come down 
to earth, to build their beautiful bottle-shaped white nests. Happy 
the man who gets one of these nests, and lets no one else see it. He 
will become rich and prosperous. Nevertheless, it is unlucky for a 
cuckoo to light on the window-sill and look into the house ; for 
disease will come there. If it lights on the roof, the house will be 
burnt down. — (Written down from memory. Told by Penri, 16th 
July, 1886.) 

xlyii. — The \_Horned'\ Owl. 

There are six owls, — hrethren. The eldest of them is only a little 
bigger than a sparrow. When perching on a tree, it balances itself 
backwards, for which reason it is called " The Faller Backwards." 
The youngest of the six has a very large body. It is a bird which 
brings great luck. If anyone walks beneath this bird, and there 
comes the sound of rain falling on him, it is a very lucky thing. 



48 AINO FOLK-LORE. 

Such a man will become very rich. For this reason the youngest of 
the six owls is called '' Mr. Owl." 

[The rain here mentioned is supposed to be a rain of gold from 
the owl's eyes.] — (Translated literally. Told by Penri, 16th July, 
1886.) 

xlviii, — The Peacock in the Sky. 

A cloudless sky has a peacock in it, whose servants are the eagles. 
The peacock lives in the sky, and only descends to earth to give birth 
to its young. When it has borne one, it flies back with it to the sky. 
— (Written down from memory. Told by Penri, July, 1886, and by 
Ishanashte, November, 1886.) 

xlix. — Trees turned into Bears. 

The rotten branches or roots of trees sometimes turn into bears. 
Such bears as these are termed payep Jcamui, i.e. " divine walking 
creatures," and are not to be killed by human hand. Formerly they 
were more numerous than they are now, but they are still sometimes 
to be seen. — (Written down from memory. Told by Penri, July, 
1886.) 

li. — Birth and Naming. 

Before birth, clothes are got ready for the expected baby, who is 
washed as soon as born.* The divine symbols are set up, and thanks 
are offered to the gods. Only women are present on the occasion. 
Generally in each village there are one or two old women who act as 
midwives. 

The child may be named at any time. Ishanashte said that it was 
usually two or three months, Penri said that it was two or three 
years, after birth. The name chosen is usually founded on some 
circumstance connected with the child, but sometimes it is meaning- 
less. The parent's name is never given, for that would be unlucky. 

* For the only time in its whole life J 



AIKO FOLK-LORE. 49 

How, indeed, could a child continue to be called by such a name when 
its father had become a dead man, and consequently one not to be 
mentioned without tears ? — (Written down from memory. Told by 
Penri and Ishanashte, July, 1886.) 



lii. — The Pre-eminence of the Oak, Pine-tree, and Mugwort. 

At the beginning of the world the ground was very hot. The 
ground was so hot that the creatures called men even got their feet 
burnt. For this reason, no tree or herb could grow. The only herb 
that grew at that time was the mugwort. Of trees, the only ones 
were the oak and the pine. For this reason, these two trees are the 
oldest among trees. Among herbs, it is the mugwort. This being 
so, these two trees are divine trees ; they are trees which human 
beings worship. Among herbs, the mugwort is considered to be 
truly the oldest. 

Listen well to this, too, you younger folks ! — (Translated literally. 
Told by Penri, 19th July, 1886.) 

liii. — The Deer with the Golden Horn. — (A specimen of Aino history.) 

My very earliest ancestor kept a deer. He used to tie the divine 
symbols to its horns. Then the deer would go to the mountains, and 
bring down with it plenty of other deer. When they came outside 
the house my ancestor would kill the deer which his deer had brought 
from the mountains, and thus was greatly enriched. The name of the 
village in which that deer was kept was Setarukot. 

There was a festival at a neighbouring village. So the man who 
kept the deer went off thither to the festival with all his followers. 
Only his wife was left behind with the deer. Then a man called Tun- 
uwo-ush [i.e. " as tall as two men "], from the village of Shipichara, 
being very bad-hearted, came in order to steal that deer. He found 
only the deer and the woman at home. He stole both the woman 
and the deer, and ran away with them. So the man who kept the 
deer, becoming angry, pursued after him to fight him. Being three 
brothers in all, they went off all three together. So Tun-uwo-ush 

Vol. 6.— Part 1. e 



50 AlNO FOLK-LORl:. 

invoked the aid of the whole neighbourhood. He called together a 
great number of men. Then those three brethren came together to 
fight him. As they were three of them, the eldest, having killed 
three score men, was at last killed himself. The second brother killed 
four score men, and was then killed himself. Then the youngest 
brother, seeing how things were, thought it would be useless to go on 
fighting alone. For this reason he ran away. Having run away, he. 
got home. Having got home, he came to his house. Then he 
invoked the aid of all the neighbourhood. He invoked the aid even 
of those Ainos who dwelt in the land of the Japanese. Then he went 
off with plenty of men. Having gone off, he fought against Tun- 
uwo-ush. In the war, he killed Tun-uwo-ush and all his followers. 
Then he got back both the deer and the woman. That was the last 
of the Aino wars. — (Translated literally. Told by Ishanashte, 8th 
November, 1886.) 

liv. — Dreams, 

To dream of rice-beer, a river, swimming, or anything connected 
with liquids, causes rainy weather. For instance, I dreamt last night 
that I was drinking rice-beer, and accordingly it is raining to-day. 

To dream of eating meat brings disease. So does dreaming of 
eating sugar or anything red. 

To dream of killing or knocking a man down is lucky. To dream 
of being killed or knocked down is unlucky. 

To dream that a heavy load which one is carrying feels light is 
lucky. The contrary dream prognosticates disease. 

To dream of a long rope which does not break, and in which there 
are no knots even when it is wound up, is lucky, and prognosticates 
victory. 

To dream of flying like a bird, and perching on a tree, prognosti- 
cates rain and bad weather. 

When a man is about to start off hunting, it is very lucky for him 
to dream of meeting a god in the mountains, to whom he gives 
presents, and to whom he makes obeisance. After such a dream, he 
is certain to kill a bear* , 



iRiSH FOLK-LORE. 6l 

To dream of being pursued with a sharp weapon is unlucky. 

To dream that one is wounded, and bleeding freely, is a good omen 
for the chase. 

To dream of the sun and moon is probably unlucky, especially if 
one dreams of the waning moon. But it is not unlucky to dream of 
the new moon. 

To dream of a bridge breaking is unlucky. But to dream of 
crossing a bridge in safety is lucky. 

For a husband to dream of his absent wife as smiling, well-dressed, 
or sleeping with himself, is unlucky. — (Written down from memory. 
Told by Ishanashte, November, 1886.) 



IRISH FOLK-LORE. 

[Reprinted from A Statistical Account or ParocMal Survey of Ireland, drawn 
from the communications of the Clergy, by William Shaw Mason. Dublin, 
London, and Edinburgh. 1814-1819. Svo, 3 vols.] 

(^Continued from ante, Vol. v. p. 335.) 

Kilmactige, county Sligo. 

The sick bed is usually a wad of straw laid on the floor, near the 
fire, and sometimes on a bedstead, and let the weather be what it may 
there is a constant fire and abundance of smoke kept up, neither do 
they think of changing the poor creature's linen or bed-clothes. As 
soon as the breath has departed from a sick person the bed is carried 
out, and if there be high ground near the house it is there set on fire 
and consumed to ashes, whilst the air resounds with the doleful cries 
of the survivors, who use this ceremony for the purpose of notifying 
the departure of the deceased to the surrounding villages and warning 
them to give their attendance at the approaching wake and funeral. — ■- 
(Vol. ii. p. 368.) 

E 2 



52 IRISH FOLK-LORE. 

There are two holy wells, they are resorted to by the inhabitants 
■who go there to pray and perform certain penances ; these are either 
voluntary or imposed by the priest. ... At one of these, called 
" Tubber Art," there used to be a large assemblage of people 
accompanied by tents, pipers, fiddlers, liquors, and everything neces- 
sary to celebrate the festival of the patron ; but on account of the 

excesses committed there the priest put a stop to them Many 

of the people who frequent these wells will assure you that they 
possess a miraculous virtue, and perform the same cures on the blind, 
lame, and impotent folk who try them as the pool of Bethesda had 
formerly done. 

The common people believe that their priests have a power of per- 
forming the like miracles by prayers and charms which they use ; and 
they not only call on them when one of the family happens to be 
afflicted with sickness to perform " an office " as they call it for the 
sick person, but they also bring the priest to perform the same 
ceremony for a cow, horse, or a pig if any of these should be taken 
ill. They believe also that their clergy can cure the epilepsy or falling 
sickness, and they obtain from them what they called " Lour Oens," 
which means the Gospel of St. John, and consists of the first verse of 
that book written on a bit of paper, and sewed up in a small piece of 
cloth, sanctified by the priest's benediction and hung about the 
person's neck This, they believe, will preserve them from the com- 
plaint, and also protect them from the power of demons and witches, 
which they believe to have still the power of afflicting the human race 
with convulsions, madness, and similar maladies. — (Vol. ii. pp. 369- 
370.) 

Kilkredane, county Clare. 

There is a well in one of the cliffs here dedicated to Credan Neapha, 
*' the Sanctified Credun " ; it is remarkable for curing sore eyes and 
restoring rickety children to health, on which account great numbers 
of people resort to it in summer. — (Vol. ii. p. 435.) 
Inniscattery , county Clare. 

The traditionary account of Senanus at Kilrush is this: — He was 
born at Mologha, on the site of the present ruined church, which was 
erected in honour of him. Before he was baptised his mother took 



IRISH FOLK-LOEE. 53 

him in her arms early on a summer's morning, and, as she passed 
along, tasted some wild fruit, the child, to her utter astonishment, 
exclaimed, " Es much a lungan thu a vahir," "You have an early- 
appetite, mother." The mother answered, " Shan a lavrin thu a 
laniv," " You have old talk, my child." The word " shan " (or old) 
was then adopted by the saint for his name. He desired his mother 
to pluck three rushes from a valley near her dwelling, where a lake 
sprang up, in which she baptised the child with a form of words 
prescribed by himself. To this day the lake remains, and is called 
Loughshanan. 

Senanus and the monks of his abbey at Inniscattery were so strict 
as to make it a matter of conscience not so much as to look at a 
woman, and much less to suffer one to land on the island. 

A stone upon which Senanus once knelt, and in which the print of 
his knee is still shown at the head of the creek of Kilrush, is still 
held in such veneration that every countryman who passes it bows, 
takes off his hat, or mutters a prayer as he goes along. 

An ancient bell, said by O'Halloran and many others to belong to 
St. Senanus's altar, is still preserved by the descendants of the family 
of O'Kane in " the West"; and the spot on which it is averred that 
it fell from Heaven for the saint's use is shown at the cross between 
Kildimo and Farrihy, where an altar has been erected to commemorate 
the event. This relic of antiquity is covered by a strong coat of 
silver, firmly fastened to it, and ornamented by raised figm'es ; it is 
in general use for the discovery of petty thefts and the clearance of 
characters. Many of the country people would not swear falsely on 
the " Golden Bell," as it is called, for they are taught from their 
infancy that the consequence would be instant death.* 

The remains of the monument of Senanus are still to be seen in 

Scattery Island This is one of the most popular burial-places 

in the county. . . . The country people believe that all bodies buried 
in Shanakill, near Kilrush, are miraculously conveyed under the bed 

* The bell of Saint Evan, as reported in the survey of Kildare, had the same 
veneration attached to it ; and a large wooden image at Saints Island, in Lough 
Ree, is used for the same purpose in the counties of Roscommon, Longford, and 
Westmeath. 



54 IRISH FOLK-LORE. 

of the river into the holy ground of Inniscattery.— (Vol. ii. pp. 439- 

440.) 

The fishing-boats in use are the ancient Celtic coracles, or nivoges, 
a kind of basket-work covered with hides. — (Vol. ii. p. 451.) 

The new year is opened with divine service in Kilrusb. Young 
people expect " New Year's Gifts " to fill their " Christmas boxes." 
On the first of February the labour of Spring commences with the old 
adage, " On Candlemas Day throw candle and candlestick away." 
Shrove Tuesday is the greatest day in the year for weddings. The 
usual desert and supper on Shrove Tuesday is the pancake. Small 
pieces of them rolled up in a stocking and placed under a lover's 
pillow are found to be very efficacious in producing prophetic dreams 
(of future husbands). 

On Easter Sunday every one in the union breakfasts on eggs and 
dines on fresh meat. Easter Monday is a great holiday here, and 
multitudes go into Scattery Island this day for the purpose of per- 
forming penance on their bare knees round the stony beach and holy 

well there. 

On the 1st of April the old practice of fool-making is kept up here. 
On the 1st of May bushes are erected before the doors and decked 
with flowers. (It is worth observing that so tenacious are the native 
Irish in Ulster of their ancient customs that it is on the 1st of May, 
" old style," namely, the 11th day of that month, they put up their May- 
bushes and strew flowers round them.) On the night of the 23rd of 
June, being Midsummer eve, bonfires are kindled in all directions 
through the country, the young people dance round them, and some 
drive their cattle through them. 

On the last day of October all the Hallowe'en tricks are played 
here in a manner similar to those in the mountains of Ulster or the 
highlands of Scotland. 

Till within a few years, for some weeks before Christmas, a midnight 
procession with music took place at Kilrush called " Waits," but this 
custom, with that of assembling in the Christmas holidays as mummers 
or wren-boys, and baiting a bull on St. Stephen's day, is now grown 
obsolete. 

It was formerly usual here to make expensive entertainments at 



IRISH FOLK-LORE. 55 

cliristenings. . . . The inhabitants marry at an early age. In " the 
West," a girl's first appearance at mass is well understood to be an 
intimation that her parents wish to receive proposals for her. "Wakes 
and funerals here exhibit the mixture of grief and mirth which has 
been so often observed in other parts of Ireland. Dismal bowlings 
are alternated with songs, plays, and ridiculous stories. — (Vol. ii. pp. 
458-460.) 

Eamoan, county Antrim. 

During the summer months a singular appearance is seen on the 
coast, particularly near the causeway shore, resembling the Fata 
Morganna of Rhegio. Shadows resembling castles, ruins, and tall 
spires darted rapidly across the surface of the sea, which were instantly 
succeeded by appearances of trees, lengthened into considerable height; 
the shadows moved to the eastern part of the horizon, and at sunset 
totally disappeared. These phenomena have given rise to various 
romantic stories. A book, still extant, printed in 1748, and written 
by a person who resided near the Giants Causeway, gives a long 
account of an enchanted island annually seen floating along the 
Antrim coast which he calls the " Old Brazils." It is supposed by 
the peasants that a sod of Irish soil thrown on this island would give 
it stability ; but though several fishing-boats have gone out at different 
times provided with the article, it has hitherto eluded their vigilance. 
--(Vol. ii. pp. 515-516.) 

Whitechurch, county Wexford. 

The only patron solemnity observed is that of Priest's Haggert, or 
Trinity Sunday. 

The lower classes are uncommonly fond of dancing, and the young 
men of playing ball. They assemble in multitudes in the evenings of 
Sundays for these amusements. — (Vol, ii. p. 544.) 

Ardclinis and Laid, county Antrim. 

Near Cushendall is a small well called Tobordmony, or Sunday 
Well, which has its origin from being visited on that day for the cure 
of complaints chiefly of children. A little pebble is thrown into the 
well, and a pin stuck in a bit of cloth left beside it — thousands of 
these shreds may be seen there There are some prejudices 



56 IKISH FOLK-LORE. 

as to disturbing old thorn-trees. The curate has heard a man swear 
most solemnly that he has seen some hundreds of the "wee-folk" 
dancing round these trees, and told him he should suffer for meddling 
with them. There is also among them a superstitious opinion as to 
cow's milk blinked, so that it will not produce butter for several 
days' churnings until some old woman with a charm elves it away. 
Another relates to cows being elf-shot ; and the inhabitants will • 
show you the spot where you may feel a hole in the flesh, but not in 
the skin, where the cow has been struck ; she gives no milk till 
relieved. — (Vol. iii. p. 27.) 

Whenever a person dies in a townland no work is done till the 
body is interred. — (p. 28.) 

Saint Peter''s, Athlone, county Roscommon. 

The ridiculous notions of the existence of fairies and witches obtain 
implicit belief in the minds of the ignorant who are extremely super- 
stitious, and the numl)er of absurd stories told on this subject among 
them, received with incredible avidity, repeated and believed, however 
inconsistent with reason and common sense, is hardly to be credited. 
The collection of people called patterns, more properly deno- 
minated patrons, being originally assemblies of people met together 
with their priest for prayers, and the religious adoration to be paid to 
the Trinity who are considered the patrons of the places where these 
are held ; at which there is necessarily some holy well or other local 
object tending to call forth the attendant's devotion. At these places 
are always erected booths or tents as in fairs for selling whiskey, 
beer, and ale, at which pipers and fiddlers do not fail to attend, and 
the remainder of the day and night (after their religious performance 
is over, and the priest withdrawn) is spent in singing, dancing, and 

drinking to excess Such places are frequently chosen for the 

scenes of pitched battles fought with cudgels by parties not only of 
parishes but of counties, set in formal array against each other to 
revenge some real or supposed injury. — (pp. 72-73.) 

May bushes are set up at the doors of the peasants on the last day 
of April, and the eve of St. John the Baptist is as constantly cele- 
brated with bonfires here as in any other part of Ireland 

Flowers are gathered by the peasantry and strewed before their doors. 



IRISH FOLK-LORE. 57 

It is probably a joyous mode of ushering in the following 

day, the first of May, which is known to the Irish of the present day 
by the epithet Labaalteine, j^ronounced Lavalteena, that is the day of 
Baal's fire.— (p. 74.) 

On the eve of St. Martin, on the 11th of November, every family 
of a village kills an animal of some kind or other : those who ai'e rich 
kill a cow or a sheep, others a goose or a turkey ; while those who 
are poor and cannot procure an animal of greater value kill a hen or 
a cock, and sprinkle the threshold with the blood, and do the same in 
the four corners of the house, and this ceremonious performance is 
done to exclude every kind of evil spirit from the dwelling when the 
sacrifice is made till the return of the same day the following year. — 
(pp. 75-76.) 

Another custom or religious adoration is that of praying to the 
new moon the first time that luminary is seen after its change. 
ISelden, de Diis Syriis, speaks of this, quoting a French author, and 
saying of the inhabitants of Ireland, " Se mettent a genoux en voyant 
la lune nouvelle, et disent en parlant a la lune ; laisse nous ausi sains 
que tu nous as trouve." — (p. 76.) 

The barbarous custom, the Irish cry at wakes, is still kept up here 
in all its savage howl of discordant sounds. — (p. 77.) 

[On Sunday] as soon as their public prayers are over they, as a 
matter of course, dedicate the remainder of it to ball-playing, hurling, 
and dancing. These dances are called cakes, on account of a large 
cake of 18 or 20 inches in diameter, which is laid on a circular board 
of nearly similar breadth elevated on a pole 6 or 8 feet high, or not 
unfrequently on a churn dish. In the spring and summer this cake is 
ornamented with garlands of the flowers of the season, and in the 
autumn crowned with apples fancifully ranged. When the dance was 
at an end this cake had in early days been usually given to the best 
female dancer, to be divided by her as she thought fit among the com- 
pany ; and the judgment was generally given, not in favour of the 
most graceful dancer, but of her who held out longest. But this 
mode of deciding who is to gain the cake has been changed for one 
less conducive to emulation in the exercise of such dances as the 
peasants indulge in .... ; for the young fellow who has procured 



58 IRISH FOLK-LORE. 

money enough for the occasion takes down the cake at any time of 
the evening he thinks fit, throws it into the lap of any girl he chooses 
to mark as his favourite, carries her and the cake into the public - 
house contiguous to which these dances are always held, where he 
treats the company after dividing the cake, and getting as many to 
join him as the strength of purse, inclination for drinking, and other 
sports or vices have attraction for ; these spend the night in 
carousing to intoxication, and all the consequences of such uncon- 
trolled dissipation. — (p. 107.) The production of illegitimate chil- 
dren [is] one of the lamentable consequences which flow from such 
Sunday meetings. — (p. 108.) 

Ballyvoorney , county Corlc. 

The patron saint of this parish is called Abigail. The day ap- 
pointed to be held in honour of her memory is 11th February, on 
which day a vast concourse of people assemble to form their religious 
or rather their superstitious rounds ; they also meet here on Whit- 
Sunday and the day following to perform the same silly and absurd 
ceremonies. There are traditionary reports that many have received 
great benefit from the prayers and orisons offered at these times to 
the patrons. — (p. 116.) 

Errigall-heroge, county Tyrone. 

The custom [obtains] of lighting fires on the eve of St. John the 
Baptist. That of hanging rags on some wells is rather a general 
superstitious usage than a local custom. — (p. 161.) 

The generality of the inhabitants attribute the building of the old 
parish chmxh to a St. Kieran. They acknowledge three holy men of 
this name. The festival of one is on the 5th of March, of another on 
the 9th September, and that of the third undetermined. The extra- 
ordinary powers of that St. Kieran who built the church were little 
inferior to those of Orpheus and Amphion. Their influence extended 
to the moving of the very stones and arranging them into architec- 
tural order ; while his only went so far as to provide the means of 
doing so. The saint possessed only one ox, which during the day 
drew the materials for the building, and in the evening was slaughtered 
to feed the workmen. There is a well at the foot of the hill en wbich 
the building is erected which still retains its character for miraculous 



IRISH FOLK-LORE. 59 

powers. Into this well the bones of the ox were thrown each evening, 
and every following morning he appeared ready for his daily labour. 
One evening, however, when nothing but a small part of the eastern 
gable remained to be finished, one of the workmen, named McMahon, 
broke one of the shin-bones to get the marrow, and, though every care 
was taken to collect the splinters, the next morning the ox aj)peared 
with his leg broken, and totally incapable of continuing his share of 
the work. So melancholy a spectacle overcame the patience of the 
saint, and he prayed that the gable should never fall till it crushed a 
McMahon. Most part of it, however, is fallen ; but enough remains 
to make every McMahon in the parish dread lest he should be the 
victim of its final ruin. — (pp. 161-162.) 

Those who speak Irish when they would wish strongly to assert any 
fact use a phrase which signifies in English that to prove what they 
say they would venture their head into the Theim-orrim. This is 
said to have been an instrument used by one of the religious establish- 
ments of the country partly for the discovery and partly for the 
punishment of guilt. It was a kind of trap into which the suspected 
person put his head. If considered innocent, he was suffered to with- 
draw it in safety ; but if guilty, the instrument strangled him or 
chopped off his head. — (pp. 164-165.) 

Among the mountains the country people make use of dwelling- 
houses in several cases of sickness. These are small hovels partly 
scooped out of the side of a hill, and finished with rods with a very- 
small entrance. In one of them, when heated like an oven with 
charred turf, the patient stretches himself upon some straw, and the 
entrance is closed up. He there lies in a state of violent perspiration, 
caused by the close heat. This operation is, as usual among the 
ignorant, considered a sovereign remedy against almost every disorder, 
but is chiefly used for rheumatic pains. — (p. 165.) 

Holywood, county Doicn. 

Amongst their other amusements, the game of shinny, as it is 
called by some, and common by others, is worthy of note. Common 
is derived from a Celtic word " com," which signifies " crooked," as it 
is played with a stick bent at its lower extremity, somewhat like a 
reaping-hook. The ball, which is struck to and fro, in which the 



60 IRISH FOLK-LORE. 

whole amusement consists, is called nag, or, in Irish, hrig. It re- 
sembles the game called golf in Edinburgh. Christmas is the season 
when it is most generally played. It prevails all through Ireland, 
and in the highlands of {Scotland. 

The trundling of eggs, as it is called, is another amusement, which 
is common at Easter. For this purpose the eggs are boiled hard and 
dyed of different colours, and when they are thus prepared the sport 
consists in throwing and tumbling them along the ground, especially 
down a declivity, and gathering up the broken fragments to eat them. 
Formerly it was usual with the women and children to collect in large 
bodies for this purpose. They pursue this amusement in the vicinity 
of Belfast. Here it is generally confined to the younger classes. It 
is a curious circumstance that this sport is practised only by Presby- 
terians, though it is admitted that it is a very ancient usage, and was 
spread over the Russian empire and Greek islands long before the 
Reformation.— (pp. 207-208.) 

The belief in witches and fairies is as firm as any article of their 
creed. When any person dies of a disease not generally known it 
is attributed to the influence of the former : and the latter imaginary 
personages are held in such reverence that their supposed places of 
haunt are guarded with the utmost sacred care. The fairy thorn, for 
instance; is often seen with an intrenchment, or barricade of stones 
erected around it, lest any persons, or even cattle, should injure this 
favoured spot of fayish revel. — (p. 208.) 

Listerling, county Kilkenny. 

There is a tradition that St. Mullen formerly resided in or near the 
moat of Listerling, and consecrated a well in its vicinity. The well is 
overshadowed by a fine old spreading hawthorn-tree, which the tra- 
dition says sprung from St. Mullen's walking-staff that he stuck down 
in that spot. . . . The saint, having been disgusted with the conduct 
of the people who stole some articles from him, left them in displea- 
sure, and removed to a place about two miles distant called Carrick- 
mullen {i.e. Mullen's Hill), now Mullinakill (i.e. Mullen's Church), 
from a church dedicated to him, the ruins of which still remain, and 
where his day, as patron saint, is annually celebrated on the Sunday 
after the feast of St. Bartholomew. — (p. 245.) 



IRISH FOLK-LORE. 61 

Eathch'ne, county Longford. 

Veneration [is] paid to a well called St. Martin's, whither the poor 
at some times in the year go to pray. — (p. 291.) 

Bathconrath, county Westmeath. 

The only particular customs are (1st) its married women calling 
themselves by their maiden names; (2nd), wakes, which are pro- 
ductive of nothing but riot, intoxication, and indecent mirth ; and 
(3rd), their crying at funerals. — (p. 303.) 

Rosenallis, Queen's County. 

Old superstitions are going out of use : even the funeral cry is laid 
aside. The people of Rearymore parish annually assemble on the 12th 
December at St. Fenian's well, to celebrate the festival of their patron 
saint. The well consists of three or four holes in the solid rocks, 
always full of water, and is surrounded by old hawthorns, which are 
religiously preserved by the natives. It is also customary for the 
common people to go round this well on their bare knees, by way of 
penance and mortification. On the return of the annual festival of 
St. Manman, the Roman Catholic clergyman performs a mass in the 
parish of St. Manman, which is attended by those who are to be 
interred in the burying-ground of that parish. The same custom 
prevails in the parish of Rearymore on the festival of St. Finyan.~- 
(p. 322.) 

STiruel, county Longford. 

The new year, and the first day of the month or week, are con- 
sidered the properest time for commencing any undertaking. No 
man removes to a new habitation on a Friday, because it is one of the 
cross days of the year, and '* a Saturday flitting makes a short 
sitting." For a fortnight before Shrove Tuesday — the great day for 
weddings — it is the practice for persons in disguise to run through the 
street of Ballymahon from seven to nine or ten o'clock in the evenings, 
announcing intended marriages, or giving pretty broad hints for 
matchmaking in these words : — " Holloa, the bride — the bride, A.B. 
to C. D." &c. ; their jokes some times prove true ones. On St. 
Patrick's-day every one in the parish wears a shamrogue, which is 
drowned at night in a flowing bowl. The first of April is observed 
here pretty much in the same way as its observance in London. On 



62 iRtSii FOLK-LORE. 

the first of May green bushes are planted opposite every door, and the 
pavement covered with flowers. On Midsummer-eve the bonfires are 
kindled with great regularity. 

In the course of the summer several individuals make pilgrimages 
either to holy wells in the immediate neighbourhood of this parish, 
such as that of Killevally, or St. John's, in the county of Roscommon, 
opposite to the ruined church of Cashel ; or else to the more distant 
but more celebrated shrine of Loughderg, in the county of Donegal, to 
which latter place many persons in affluent circumstances have been 
known to walk barefooted as an act of penance for their sins. On the 
29th September (Michaelmas-day) hunting commences, and every 
family that can procure a goose has one dressed for dinner. Hallow- 
eve is observed on the last day of October, with the usual necromantic 
ceremonies, and the amusement concludes with a supper of granbree 
— that is, boiled wheat, buttered and sweetened. 

For some weeks before Christmas, several musicians, generally pipers, 
serenade the inhabitants of Ballymahon about an hour or two before 
daybreak, calling out, in the intervals, the hour of the morning, and 
stating whether it is cold, wet, frosty or fine. This is called going about 
with " the waits" ; and those who give themselves this trouble expect 
to be paid for it in the Christmas holidays, when they go about in 
the daylight playing a tune, and receiving the expected remuneration 
at every door. At this festive season the grown people, after feasting 
on their best fare, amuse themselves by dancing, blind-man's buff, 
questions and commands, and the relating or hearing legendary tales. 
The children make and paint circular crosses ; expect Christmas-boxes 
from their friends as a reward for the exhibition of their proficiency in 
writing in what are called Christmas pieces. A large candle is lighted 
on Christmas night, laid on a table, and suffered to burn out. If it 
should happen by any means to be extinguished, or more particularly 
if it should (as has sometimes happened) go out without any visible 
cause, the untoward circumstance would be considered a prognostic 
of the death of the head of the family. St. Stephen's day is always 
spent in bull-baiting. 

It is customary to give entertainments at christenings here. Pro- 
testants stand sponsors for Eomau Catholic ehildreuj and vice versa. 



IRISH FOtlv-LOllE. 63 

No woman thinks of taking any concern in her household affairs until 
she has been churched after childbirth. Marriages are the scenes of 
festivity and mirth ; a bridesman and bridesmaid are indispensable 
attendants on this occasion ; and the ceremony of " throwing the 
stocking " is too well known to need description. A fine day for the 
bringing home is reckoned an omen of good fortune, according to the 
popular adage : 

" Happy is the bride that the sun shines on." 

A similar proverb renders a wet day desirable for a funeral ; 
" Happy is the corpse that the rain rains on." 

The wakes of all ranks of people here are conducted pretty much on 
the old Irish plan. The corpse is kept in for two nights during which 
time the Irish cry is seldom interrupted. 

The funerals are generally attended by crowds, summoned by the 
bell of Ballymahon. Gravestones with crucifixes mark the respective 
burial-places. There is also another kind of monument here, viz. 
heaps of stones on the sides of the roads, marking the spot on which 
untimely deaths have occurred. Some of these are inclosed and 
planted with one or two ash-trees. — (pp. 346-350.) 

Tracton Abbey, county Corl:. 

The great patron day is that of St. John, on 24th of June, on the 
eve of which innumerable fires are lighted on every hill, in the streets 
of every village, and at the meeting of every cross-road. On the 
festive day itself, and the subsequent week, myriads of persons of all 
ranks and ages flock to the holy well of St. Zonogue, where booths 
and tents are erected, and wondrous cures announced to be performed 
by this miraculous water. — (p. 472.) 

Tintern, county Wexford. 

St. Martin, whose day is kept on 11th November, is patron of the 
parish. On that day numbers 'of people perform pilgrimages to a 
well dedicated to him ; and there is a fair or market held on that day 
for which no patent has been granted. 

The people . . . wear wisps of straw in their brogues ; call women 

by their maiden names, and illegitimate children after their mother. 

hey are addicted to superstitious practices, and believe in apparitions • 



64 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTHA, OR ABORIGINES OF 

some believe in a warning voice, which is said to be heard when any 
of the Colclough family are near death. They always kill some 
animal on the eve of St. Martin's day ; the very poor kill a cock or a 
hen. They never spin wool or flax on the afternoon of Saturday, or 
the eve of any holiday, and many will not yoke a plough after twelve 
o'clock on Saturday. — (pp. 491-492.) 

TuUaroan, county Kilkenny. 

The family spirit of clanship, descending lineally, and collaterally 
spreading itself, is particularly strong among the population of this 

parish Among the tribes of Galway this feeling is powerfully 

predominant, and in Scotland it is unnecessary to state that every 
man bearing the same name regards himself as a kinsman to his laird 
or chief. In Grace's county, Tullaroan, the feeling is not less strong 
and fixed. The patriotism of this sentiment was condensed by the 
compression of hostilities in the royal Milesian septs of FitzPatrick, 
who were placed close in their neighbourhood with every possible 
convenience for frequent battles. The tales of these exploits are the 
tales most dear to the descendants of the combatants engaged in these 
encounters, and they cannot remember one single occasion when they 
were worsted. — (p. 589, note.) 



THE TRADITIONS OF THE MENTRA,* OR ABORIGINES 
OF MALACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 




EFORE entering upon the subject of this paper, it would, 
perhaps, be as well to explain the system upon which the 
numerous native names occurring in it are spelt. 

Shortly it may be stated that the consonants, with the 
exception of some of those occurring in words borrowed from the 

* Sansk.: "mantra," a prayer, and then a charm. These tribes are much 
feared by the Malays owing to their supposed powers in the way of charms and 
incantations, &c. The spittle of one tribe called " Kenaboi " is believed to have 



MALACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 65 

Arabic (which are marked by . placed under the letters not used in 
ordinary Malay words) are sounded as in English. 

Final "k" is only partially sounded, and the same sound is indi- 
cated by " ' " succeeding a vowel. 

'' Ng," which is one letter in the native character, is ahvays sounded 
as in " singing," and never as in /'anger"; the latter sound being 
indicated by an additional " g," which always in such case follows the 
" ng " in the native character. 

" G " is always hard, as in " go "; never soft, as in " ginger." 

The vowels are sounded as in Italian, ^ over them indicating the 
long sound, but not invariably the syllable on which the chief em- 
phasis rests, which is marked by ' over it, and if needed in addition 
to the ■^, but ordinarily the ", where it occurs, suffices to mark the 
emphatic syllable. 

There is no mark over the ordinary short vowels, but the prosodial 
mark - over " e " (besides the ordinary short '' e " which gives the 
sound of " e " in " pen ") is used to mark what may be called the 
indefinite vowel sound, a sound which closely resembles the " e " in 
the French "ce " and " le," and in the English " literal." 

To enable the reader to more readily appreciate the position of the 
tribes whose traditions are here given, a rough map of the Malay 
peninsula is attached showing the states among which they are 
scattered. [The map is not reproduced.] 

The following traditions were communicated to me by Batin* Pa' 
lnah,f one of the aboriginal chiefs, residing in the state of Joh61.| 

poisonous effects if trodden upon. I was gravely informed by a Malay that our 
host, one of the chiefs of a tribe in the interior of Johor, used to walk round his 
little hamlet at night in the jungle unarmed and send any inquisitive tigers 
away by the mere force of his supernatural powers. 

* Title of chiefs of aboriginal tribes, both on the mainland and on the Malacca 
seas. Possibly derived from Ar.: "batin," hidden, occult, a suitable title for 
those possessing the powers attributed to them. 

f The father of Inah. But his original name was Koloi, which is, however, 
still in use, as well as the later one. It is common for these people to be known 
later in life as the father of so and so. 

X The position of this state can be seen in the map, but there is not space to 
show all the pettier states which once formed part of it but have since broken 
away. 

Vol. 6. — Part 1. p 



66 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTRA, OR ABORIGINES OF 

Tuhan Dibdwah (the Lord below) made the earth, and lives 
beneath it ; it is supported by an iron staff sustained by crossbars. 
Beneath these again is Tdnah* Nydyeh (land of Nyayek), which is 
inhabited by a sort of " setan," f who have children, not born in the 
ordinary way, but pulled out of the pit of the stomach. 

They were visited by M'ertang, the first ^^p6yang"X who brought 
back this account of them, 

Tuhan Dibdwah dwells beneath Tdnah Nydyeh, and by his power 
supports all above him. 

The earth was first peopled through M'ertang, the first Poyang, 
and Belo his younger brother. 

Their mother was Tdnah Sak'epal (a handful of earth) and their 
father Ayer Satitik (a drop of water). 

They came from Tanah B'angun § in the sky, and returned to it, 
taking with them a house from Hulu Kenabol, |J on the other side of 
J'elebu,^ which flows into the Pahang.** 

B'elo died, and when he was buried a menghdrong ff came towards 
the grave, and M'etang threw his parang X\ at it, and cut off his tail, 
and the " mengkarong " ran away tail-less, and Belo thereupon came 
to life again, left his grave, and returned to his house. 

* " Tdnah," both earth, soil, and land, country. 

f Ar. : sheitan, evil genii. Can this account be attributed to a corrupt version 
of the Indian mythical Nagas in Patala (the infernal regions) which were visited 
by Narada (one of the Rishis, and also a Prajapati), who might be represented by 
Mertang in the next paragraph, but the latter's account of what he saw is less 
flattering ? 

X Generally this word, like " pawang," may be regarded as the equivalent of 
"medicine man." It also, like " moyang," which is doubtless connected with 
it, is used in the sense of " ancestors." 

§ Lit. the rising land. "Bento 'mbangun," or rising arch, is an expression for 
the rainbow ; whether the expression in the text is a condensed form of this 
must remain a matter of conjecture. 

II One of the aboriginal tribes takes its name from this stream. (See map.) 

^ Said to mean " the swimming vapour that floats athwart the glen, puts 
forth an arm and loiters slowly drawn." 

** The largest river in the peninsula, flowing (through probably the largest 
state) into the China Sea. 

f f A small variety of lizard, also called " bengkarong." 

XX Woodman's knife. A slight anachronism. 



MALACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 67 

When M'ertang took his house away with him to Tanah Bangun, 
a dog, the first of the species, appeared where the house had been, 
and was prevented by M'ertang's power from attacking mankind. 

Then B'elo had a dog at his house, and from this dog came the 
tiger, which devours mankind and animals. 

When M'ertang left the earth for Tdnah Bdngun, he flew away 
with his house in the air. 

B'elo went to Tdnah Bdngun by the sea on foot ; he was so tall 
that the water only reached to his knees. 

Originally the sky was very low, but B'elo raised it with his hands, 
because he found it in the way of his pestle when he raised it to 
pound his padi.* 

M'ertang took his youngest sister to wife, and from them are 
descended the Mentra. 

B'elo married the other sister, but they had no offspring. 

In course of time the descendants of M'ertang multiplied to such 
an extent that he went to Tuhan Dibdwah and represented the state 
of things, which Tuhan Dibdwah remedied by turning half of man- 
kind into trees. 

In those days men did not die, but grew thin with the waning of 
the moon, and waxed fat as she neared the full. 

When their numbers had again increased to an alarming extent. 

To' Entah, f the son of M'ertang, and the first Batin, brought the 
matter to his father's notice. 

The latter wished things to remain as they were, but B'elo said it 
was better they should die like the banana, which leaves young shoots 
behind it, and leave children behind them when they died : the matter 
was submitted to Tuhan Dibdwah, who decided in favour of B'elo's 
view, so that since then men have died, leaving theii* children behind 
them. 

In the earliest times there used to be three suns — husband, wife, 
and child-— and there was no night, there being always one sun left in 

* " Padi," the rice plant, and the grain, before it is pounded, after which it is 
called " beras," when boiled it is called " nasi." 

f " Entah," i.e. I don't know, which might have been reply of parent regarding 
name before it was fixed, and so adopted as a joke. 

F 2 



68 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTRA, OR ABORIGINES OF 

the sky, if the others had set. In those days people slept as they 
felt inclined, and there were no divisions of time. 

After a long time To' Entah thought the heat too great, and 
devised a plan for reducing it, in pursuance of which he went to the 
moon, which then gave no light, and told her to call her husband 
Bintang Tunang,^ the evening star, and the stars their children, and 
to put them into her mouth, but not to swallow them, and to await 
his return. When she had done this, To' Entah went to the female 
sun, and, by representing that the moon had swallowed her husband 
and children, induced her to swallow completely her husband and 
child, the other two suns. Having thus gained his end. To' Entah 
returned to the moon, and told her she could release her husband and 
children, which she did, flinging them out into the sky again. 

As soon as she discovered the deception which had been practised 
on her, the sole remaining sun waxed very wrath, and withdrew in 
dudgeon to the other side of the heavens, declaring that when the 
moon came her way she would devour her, a promise which she 
carries out at the time of eclipses.f 

It was from this time, this separation between the sun and the 
moon, that the division between day and night, and the rule of the 
moon and the stars over the latter took place. 

Till the time of Bdtin To' Entah men used not to drink, no water 

* <' Bintang," star; " tunang," magic. " Tunangan " means a betrothed person, 
from " tunang," to betroth ; but I prefer the former meaning. 

f The aborigines, as well as the Malays, seem to have borrowed from India in 
this as well as other points; the Malay term is " matahari makan rahu','' or 
"brilan," ditto, i.e. sun or moon devoured by the dragon or beast: in Hindu 
mythology " rahu " is a " Daitya " (Titan), who is supposed to seize the sun and 
moon and swallow them, and so obscure their rays. The Malays also use 
" Garhana," to denote eclipses, whether of sun, " matahari " (eye of day), or 
" bulan," moon (from " graha," the seizer, one of the Indian epithets of Rahu). 
So the aborigines of Johor speak of "matahari," or "bulan," "tangkak (Malay 
' tangkap ') reman " (ii = Fr, " gne "), i.e. sun or moon being caught by the beast. 
The phrases are rough and elliptical, not strictly correct Malay ; literally they 
would be rendered "the sun" or "moon eats" or "catches the dragon" or 
" beast "; the passive form of the verb, followed by the preposition preceding the 
agent, being omitted ; properly it should run " matahari " or " bulan," " di makan 
uleh rahu','' etc. 



MA.LACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 69 

was to be had, and the sensation of thirst was unknown. It came 
about in this way : One day To' Entah shot a monkey with a blow- 
pipe,* and made a fire, and cooked and ate the monkey ; after which 
he became sensible of a desire to imbibe something, and went about 
in search of something to drink, but could find nothing, not even an 
"a^a?'"! (water-giving liane, or monkey-rope). The " a^a?' " did 
not produce water then. At last he came upon an old ^^jelotong " :j: 
stump, and through a hole in it heard the sound of something 
trickling down below : he fastened a rotan mdnau § above outside, and 
then let himself down into the hole by it till he reached what he 
found to be flowing water, and there he slaked his thirst. 

He made his way out again by the rotan^ and when leaving the 
spot he saw a large white leldbi, or labi-ldbi (a sort of fresh-water 
turtle), issue from the hole, with a vast body of water, and begin 
chasing him ; he ran for his life, and called to the elephants for help, 
but they were driven away by the water. To' Entah then met a 
tiger, whose help he begged, and the tiger attacked the head of the 
leldbi, but could do it no harm. To' Entah continued his flight till 
he met a selddang, \\ whom he implored to come to his rescue, and 
the selddang trampled on the leldbi, but to no purpose. 

He next begged the aid of the rhinoceros, but with no better result, 
and they had to fly before the leldbi. 

* Usually about seven feet long. 

f There are considerable numbers of these water-producing creepers; of a few 
the water is very good, delicious in fact ; of others, though not so pleasant, it is 
quite drinkable; while some are only safe as long as spirits are abstained from. 
Witness a painful case which occurred in South America a few years ago, where 
a traveller suffered an agonizing death from drinking alcohol, in the shape of 
Avhisky, shortly after a draught from one of these creepers, the alcohol having 
solidified the sap of the creeper, which was probably one of the gutta -bearers. 

X There are two or three varieties of this tree which is used medicinally, and 
for its timber, and also produces a sap which is mixed with marketable kinds of 
" gutta." (Alstonia eximia. Filet.) 

§ "Rotan," Anglice, " rattan," from Malay, "raut," to split, pare ; "manau," 
the name of a variety from which excellent walking-canes are made. 

II Wild ox of the peninsula, a large animal, short close hair ; several 
specimens of heads and horns were exhibited in the Malay Court (Straits Settle- 
ments) at the Colonial and Indian Exhibitiqji iq 1886. 



70 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTRA, OR ABORIGINES OF 

At last he had to apply for the intervention of the Jcanchil* (the 
smallest of all the deer kind, not so large as a hare) : the hanchil 
said, " What can small creatures like us do ? " To' Entah replied, 
" I have asked all the others, and they have been able to do nothing." 
Then the hanchil said, '' Very well, we will try : get you to one side." 
And he called together an army of hanchil, the whole of the race, 
and said, " If we do not kill the leldU we all perish, but if we kill 
him, all is well." 

Then they all jumped on to the leldhi, which was of great size, and 
stamped on him with their tiny hoofs, till they had driven holes in his 
head, and neck, and back, and killed him. 

But in the meantime the body of water which had accompanied the 
leldhi had increased to a vast extent, and formed what is now the sea. 

After the destruction of the leldhi the hanchil asked To' Entah 
what was to be his reward for the service he had performed ; on which 
To' Entah replied that he would take the root of the heledeh, f and 
the hanchil could have the leaves for his share, and they have accord- 
ingly ever since been the food of the hanchil. 

From Hulu| Kenaboi To' Entah went to Pagar-ruyong § (in 
Sumatra, seat of sovereign of former Malay empire of Menangkabau), 
and his son To' T'erjeli|| came across again thence and settled in 
J'elebu. 

To' T'erjeli had eight sons — Bdtin Tungang Gagah,1[ who settled in 
Kelang ;** Bdtin Changei, or Changgei Besijff who lived in J'elebu ; 

* Smallest of the " Moschus Javanicus " genus ; the three kinds, taking them 
in the order of size, " napoh," " pelanduk," and " kanchil," are all indiscrimi- 
nately spoken of as " pelanduk" ("landuk," wiles), i.e. the wily one : they take 
the place of the fox in Malayan fable. 

f Convolvulus batatas (Faure), or batatas edulis chois (Filet). 

X " Hulu," head, source. 

§ " Pagar," fence ; " ruyong," hard part of the " nibong " palm (On cos 
perma filamentosa, Blume). 

II Grand, great (Ar.: jal ?) 

% Strong-back. 

** In the state of Salangor now (see map) ; Salangor grew out of it. 

ft Iron nail. " Changei " is a long nail grown to a great length, as a sign of 
being a leisured person, free from manual labour, both among Malays and 
Chinese. According to a Johor legend this chief " was the first of all Batins 



MALACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 71 

Bdtin Alam, * who settled in Johor ; Bdtin P'erwei, who went across 
to Pagarruyong ; Bdtin Siam, who went to Siam ; Bdtin Minang, who 
crossed to Menangkabau ; Bdtin Pahang, who settled in the country 
of that name; Bdtin Stambul, who went to Stambul; and Bdtin 
Raja, who ruled over Moar. 

Penghulusf were first made by To' T'erjeli, who placed one at 
Beranang, in Kelang, the To' Kelana Putra % at Sungei Hujong, § 
To' Aki Sdman in J'elebu, To' Mutan Jantan, | a woman, at Kwala,^ 
Muar** and her husband, Janhan Pahlawan Lela Perkasa,tt at Johol : 
hence, to preserve the memory of the first female ruler, the Dato' 
Penghulu of Johol always wears his hair long, down to the waist. 

The To' Kelana Putra, of Sungei Hujong, established the states of 
R'embau || and Naning, § § placing his sons over them. 

and rulers, and he lived at Gunong Penyarong (Penyaring) in Menangkabau. 
By him a Raja was placed over Menangkabau, a Bandahara over Pahang, and at 
a later period a Penyhulu over Hulu Pahang. — {Journal Ind. Arch. vol. i. p. 326.) 
* Alam, the world (Arabic). 

f "Peng," personal prefix, and "hulu," head, a title enjoyed both by chiefs 
of states and of villages. 

I " Kelana," wandering ; "putra," prince (Sansk,: "putra," son), 

§ Name of a state (now under a Eesident). " Sungei," river ; " hujong," 
point ; the reason of the name has not been ascertained. 

II "To'," short for "Dato'," elder chief. "Mutan," contracted form of 
" rambutan," a tree bearing a fruit (Nephelium lappaceum) covered with soft 
spines or brittles, whence its name, from " rambut," hair ; " jantan," male ; the 
tree, near which this " Dato'," lived in Johor, being male, and therefore unpro- 
ductive, the fertile trees being always called female. 

^ Mouth of a river where it joins the sea, or point of junction of a tributary 
with the parent stream. 

** Small state shown in the map lying between Malacca and the Muar river. 

ft The regular title of the chiefs of Johor. " Jauhan" or " johan," a military 
officer, perhaps corrupted from Pers., " jihan," used in combination to intensify 
epithets, or perhaps merely to add sound; "pahlawan," from Pers., "pahlu- 
wan," a bold man, warrior ; " lela," fencing ; " perkasa" (Sansk., " praka9a "), 
mighty, valiant. The Malays string these titles and epithets together without 
stint for the pettiest officials, in entire ignorance of their meaning. 

XI -A. state lying north of Malacca, and west of Johol (see map). The name is 
said by natives to be derived from the sound made by the fall of a gigantic 
" m'erebau " tree (Intsia amboinensis), which was described by the words 
" m'erebau r'embau," a sort of metathesis to which Malays are much addicted ; 
" r'ebah " is to fall. 

§§ This state, since 1833, has been part of Malacca territory. " Naning " is a 



72 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTHA, OR ABORIGINES OF 

Lukut* was also established by the To' Kelana. The Dato of Johol 
made Terachi,t Gunong Pasir, J Gemencheh, § J'empol, || and Ayer 
Kuning. 1 J'elei** was originally part of Johol, but afterwards 
broke away. 

After the death of To' MMan Jantan, the succession passed to her 
nephews, and has since been held by males, but always passing 
through the female side, as in Naning.ff After To' Mutan Jantan 
came To' Ular Bisa (the Dato' of the poisonous snake), next To' 
Maharaja Garang,|| who was succeeded in turn by To' T'engah,§§ To' 
Nari,!!! To' Bunchit (pot-belly), and the present PenghMu, To' E^ta. 

kind of wasp-like bee, which stings badly; and the discovery on the first settle- 
ment of the country of the nest of a white variety of this insect is said to have 
given the name. This is, no doubt, mythical, all the early traditions being in 
the colour white. 

* There are several water-plants oE this name of N. O. Lemnaceee, Sal- 
viniace^e, and Marsilacete (Filet). The river and district are in Sungei Hujdng. 
(See map.) 

f I believe this is the name of a tree as yet unidentified. 

X "Gunong," mountain; "Pasir," sand. This state is in Hulu Muar (see 
map), adjoining Kembau, while Terachi adjoins Sungei Hujong, but they are 
too small to show separately. 

§ Possibly from " gemunchi," an earthen vessel. 

II The state takes its name from the iriver flowing through it, which is named 
from a fish called " J'empol." (See map.) 

^ "Ayer," water; " kuning," yellow; the adjective always comes after the 
noun in Malay, except in certain special cases. 

** Name of a plant of which there are two or three varieties : " j'elei batu," 
Job's tears (coix lacryma, Filet). It is also used medicinally (the root) in 
infantine convulsions. Position of state is shown in map. 

f f This practice prevails throughout the Menangkabau states of the peninsula,' 
being brought over by their people from the parent country in Sumatra (where 
it was probably imported from Southern India). It is not confined to the 
question of the succession of chiefs, but is applied to all private property. 

XX " Garang," fierce. 

§§ "Tengah," middle, a common Malay name (frequently shortened to 
" Ngah "). 

nil From " Nari " or " Neri," the place where he resided. (" Niri " sund. ia 
given by Filet as Xylocarpus obovatns. Some of the Sumatran names resemble 
the Javan.) 



' i.e. All the states within the red boundary line iu the map lying north of 
Malacca, with Muar, Sungei Hujong, and J'elebu, which are all purely Sumatran 
in origin, and since only effected by intercourse with the local aborigines, 



MALACCA AND THE ADJOINING STATES. 73 

The first Raja was Salengkar Alam,* of Bukit Guntang Penyaring, 
in Hulu Menangkabau. Penyaring, according to native ideas, is 
derived from "guntang," the shaldng of the ''jaring" net used to 
catch the "kehiang" (flying-fox) for the feast at which Sale'ngkar 

A 

Alam was proclaimed Raja. 

The Batin Minang previously mentioned remained in the jungle. 

The derivation of M'enangk'abau is likewise given, as follows : — 
" M'enang," to win," and "k'erbau" (in the compound word often 
sounded and sometimes written "kabau"), buffalo, meaning, "the 
buffaloes win," which is thus accounted for : — From a hole behind the 
site of the new palace issued hundreds of buffaloes, the horns and 
hoofs of their leader appearing to be of gold ; on observing this the 
people chased him, but before they could catch him he and his herd 
vanished back into their hole, and were never seen again ; the 
buffaloes, thus winning in the race for the hole, gave the name to the 
place.f 

* " Lengkar," to coil : this would imply " tte ruler of the world." 
f The tradition found in the "Sejarah Malayu," Malay annals, and other 
native writings, makes the first royal ruler descend from the mountain 
Sagantang, or Saguntang Mahamiru, under the name of Sang Sap'erba, or Sang 
p'erba, (i.e. first chief), claiming descent from Sekander, or Iskander Dulkernein 
(i.e. Alexander, the two-horned possessor of East and West), Alexander the 
Great. The reference to " Mahamiru," the Indian Olympus, clearly shows the 
direction in which the origin of a portion at least of those traditions is to be 
sought, and this track has been followed in an interesting paper by Mr. W. E. 
Maxwell, on " Aryan Mythology in Malay Traditions " (vol. xiii. Journal R.A.S. 
new series,. 1881), where he points out that "sagantang," or "saguntang," is 
probably " Sughanda," one of the mountains surrounding " Meru," " Gandha- 
madana" appears to be an epithet of the whole of that district. So the native 
explanation of "guntang penyaring" (or "penyarong," as Mr. Maxwell found 
in one MS., suggesting it as an error for " Tagarruyong," which I doubt), can- 
not be accepted. Whether " penyaring " be a later native addition to "guntang " 
in ignorance of its Indian origin, or a corruption of some Indian name, has yet 
to be ascertained. The same view as to a possible Indian origin must be 
advocated as to the name " Menangkabau," which is strengthened by the variety 
in the way of sounding and spelling it, " Menangkerbau " being the correct form 
to accord with the native legend, while " Minangkabu" and "Menangkabu" are 
also to be met with. There are two other native derivations given to account for 
the name " M'enangk'erbau " ; one of a fight between a buffalo and a tiger, in 
which the former was victorious, pushing the latter over a precipice ; the other, 
of a gigantic buffalo, which the Javanese put forward for the Malays to match, 



74 TRADITIONS OF THE MENTHA, &0. AND ADJOINING STATES. 

Khatib Malim Seleman,* the son of Salengkar Alam, came over to 

Bukit Peraja, t in Hulu Jempol, with a " parang" (woodman's knife), a 
"patil" (adze, or hatchet, according to the turn given to the blade), a 
'•'pahat" (chisel), and a "kachip" (betel-nut clippers), in pursuit of 
a beautiful princess, and after searching in vain for food he went to 
sleep near an enormous bamboo, a fathom in diameter. During the 
night the princess appeared and cooked him some food, and passed 
the night with him, but disappeared at dawn. 

The prince tried in vain to cut the bamboo, in which the princess 
had told him he would find her, using in turn the " parang," " patil," 
and " pahat." Then he tried the " kachip " on the point of the 
bamboo with success, after which he was able to split it downwards, 
when the princess fell out, and he secured her, and she did not 
disappear again : then she was conducted on horseback by many- 
followers with her husband to Bukit Peraja, where they both disap- 
peared, but there they both live invisible to this day ; their horses in 
full trappings are occasionally to be seen on certain favourable seasons. 
If their aid is invoked with burning of " k'emnyan," J they will come 
and " bechara," § and then disappear. The princess was quite fair in 
complexion, and her hair was white and seven fathoms in length. 

All the different tribes of aborigines are said to be merely varieties 
of the " Mentra," who also exist in the M'enangkabau country, but 
the Batin suggested that they may have turned Malay (i.e. Muham- 
madan). D. F. A. Harvey. 

if they could : the latter, having no fit antagonist to bring to the struggle, had 
recourse to stratagem, bringing into the arena a baby-buffalo ; but his horns 
were tipped with sharp steel, and he had been given a short supply of milk some 
time before ; so that the moment he saw his huge opponent, he rushed underneath 
him to search for milk, and, before the other could do anything, had inflicted 
fatal wounds ; but the point of the story is not very apparent, as it would, what- 
ever the termination of the fight, been "m'enang kei'bau.^' 

* " Khatib," properly preacher in a mosque ; " Malim," master, teacher ; 
" Seleman," the ordinary Malay form of the Arabic " Suleiman," i.e. Solomon. 

t " Bukit," hill ; "peraja," "raja," king with personal prefix " pe," an un- 
usual form. 

X Styrax benzoin, commonly known as gum benjamin. 

§ Deliberate over, discuss, try, decide. 



75 




BIKTH CEEEMONIES OF THE PKABHUS. 

T the last meeting of the Bombay Anthropological Society, 
Dr. Kirtikar read a very interesting paper on the birth 
ceremonies observed among one section of the Hindoos : 
He began by observing that his remarks were confined 
to the Prabhu community of Bombay, to which he had the honour 
to belong. When it was apparent that the Hindoo lady was expecting 
her first baby, her " special " wishes or tastes were consulted, and she 
was treated with great tenderness. Nothing that would frighten her 
was allowed to approach her. The sight of a serpent or of a corpse 
was avoided ; the news of a sudden and horrible death, or of a terrible 
accident, was studiously kept away from her. She was not permitted 
to be out of doors at dusk, lest the evil spirits hunting the peepul 
might do her harm. She was presented with flowers and sweetmeats. 
All the delicacies of the table, especially the various rich sweetmeats 
so numerous among the Hindoos, were specially prepared for her. 
About the fifth month, the muhurt ceremony was performed. It had 
no religious significance. It was a gathering of the lady* relatives of 
the house. Sugar and flowers and new clothes were presented by the 
visitors. The lady concerned and the visitors were presented with 
sugar. The ceremonial was purely a social one. It clearly showed 
that Hindoo ladies had their own sphere of independent action, and 
that they were not the slaves foreigners painted them through sheer 
want of knowledge. In some families the Soliola ceremony was 
performed. It was a religious ceremony, in which Gunpati was in- 
voked as the averter of evil and destroyer of all danger. Ganga 
and Varuna were also worshipped to ensure peace and plenty. 
Offerings of rice and ghee were made to the sacred fire. Supposing 
the confinement natural. Dr. Kirtikar said, after the birth of the baby, 
it was received in a bamboo tray, and honey was dropped into its 



76 BIRTH CEREMONIES OF THE PRABHUS. 

mouth. The Putravan ceremony was performed by the father of the 
child on the first day, or reserved to the fifth day, when the Sashti- 
imjan ceremony was due. The chief event of the Putravan ceremony 
was the preparation of the birth-paper or horoscope, which was done 
by the caste astrologers. The family priest was also in attendance on 
the occasion. Friends, male and female, were invited and presented 
with sugar and cocoa-nuts. The Sashtipujan ceremony includes the 
worship of Jiwatee. Shasti or Sati was a goddess akin to the Roman 
Parcae, or Fates, who the Hindoos believed wrote the fortune of the 
new-born baby on its forehead on the fifth night after birth. Jiwatee 
was the protecting goddess, and acted as a counteracting agent to the 
mischievous propensities of Shasti, or Sati. On the twelfth day, the 
father's sister proceeded to the house of the new-born babe to exercise 
her right of naming the child. This Dr. Kirtikar mentioned as 
another illustration of the authority the Hindoo woman exercises in 
her household. The horoscope name was determined from the hour 
of the birth, the moment of birth rather, and from the grahas, or 
stars, by the astrologer, but the pet name was always given by the 
aunt. If this right was infringed, the aunt had a just right to com- 
plain. It was she who put the child into the cradle for the first 
time, for up to that time the child lay by the mother's side. This 
also was a ladies' ceremony strictly. About the twenty-first day the 
mother worshipped a pail of water, which was equivalent to wor- 
shipping the well, implying that from that time she was free to attend 
to the linen of the child herself, washing it herself if necessary. 

Mr. Sitaram Vashnu Sukhthanker rose to mention a few matters 
which he thought had either escaped Surgeon Kirtikar, or had been 
purposely omitted by him as being of small importance. In the first 
place, he called attention to certain matters connected with the treat- 
ment of the infant on its birth ; and, secondly, to the reading of the 
Shanti Path and the Earn RaTcsha, every evening during the ten days 
of confinement. A small quantity of ash being pulverised, a finger 
mark of the same is applied to the head of the mother and to that of 
the child, and the rest being tied in a piece of rag, is placed near the 
head and under the bed of the lady. This reading of the Path con- 
sists in repeating the name of God, and is intended as a prayer for 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 77 

the welfare of the mother and the child. The last point which he 
would mention was the practice of placing a crowbar along the 
threshold of the room of confinement, as a check against the crossing 
of any evil spirit. This was owing, he believed, to a belief among 
Hindoos that evil spirits always kept themselves aloof from iron, and 
even now-a-days pieces of horseshoe could be seen nailed to the 
bottom sills of doors of native houses. The bar is kept in situ for ten 
days. On the eleventh day a preparation of milk, sugar and rice, is 
prepared, and a small quantity of the same is placed near the spot 
where the umbilical cord is buried, and the rest is partaken of by the 
members of the family. On the same day the lady worships the sun, 
as, owing to her being confined for the ten days in almost a dark 
room, she could not see the sun, and the first time that the sun 
appears to her after her confinement she considers it her duty to 
offer prayer and thanksgivings. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

An Old-Frisian Funereal-rite. — The following ancient custom, 
being hallowed by tradition, and strictly observed still at present by 
the people of Friesland, may deserve a corner among the Notes of the 
Folk-Lore Journal: — As long as a corpse is still in a house, the 
looking-glass is turned round, or covered, and the clock remains 
stopped. H. K. 

Man-in-the-Moon. — The idea conveyed to a Chinese mind by " the 
man in the moon " may be gathered from the following account, given 
by The Chinese Times, of one of the great festivals observed in the 
Middle Kingdom : " The common people soon lose whatever knowledge 
they may have possessed at one time of the origin of a festival, but the 
account which was given me by a young Chinese scholar bears a strong 
resemblance to some of the Buddhist tales of India. It was in the 



78 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

olden times, he said, that an aged man, while trudging along a country 
road, was accosted by a fairy, who, perceiving him to be a worthy 
fellow, desired to translate him to the heavenly land. ' Take,' he 
said, ' these two pills ; keep them until the fifteenth day of the 
eighth month ; at a certain hour, if you look towards the southern 
heavens, you will see a door appear. As soon as the door opens 
swallow the two pills, and you will be changed into a genie.' And 
in a moment he had disappeared. The old man in simple faith 
pocketed the pills and returned to his home, where— alas ! for the 
frailty of man — he was not long able to keep the secret from his wife. 
When the appointed day arrived, the husband having left the house, 
the wife bethought herself of the pills and determined to try their 
virtue. Looking towards the southern heavens, there surely was the 
door as her husband had told her. As it slowly opened she swallowed 
one of the pills, considerately leaving the second for her husband. 
Forthwith the heavens opened and a stool descended to the earth, 
and no sooner had the good lady seated herself than she was wafted 
away into space. Shortly afterwards the husband returned much 
distressed to find himself minus a wife and a pill too. There was 
no help for it, so he did the best he could under the circumstances. 
The heavens indeed had not opened and no door had appeared. But 
he hastily swallowed the remaining pill and another stool descended 
from the sky, and soon he was flying after his wife. But ere he 
reached the gate of heaven the bolt had been drawn, and he was left 
like a peri weeping at the confines of paradise. Touched at his 
distress the guardian angel turned him into a genie, and gave him 
the Kuang Han Kung, or * Palace of Chilly Vastness,' in the moon 
for a residence, where he still lives in dreary solitude. Meanwhile 
his wife had entered the heavenly portal and been changed into a 
female genie under the name of Chang 0. Once a year, on the 
anniversary of their separation, she opens the door of heaven and 
gladdens the heart of her wronged and suffering husband with a 
sight of his spouse. It is to join and support him in his transitory 
bliss, and to drink to his health, says my scholarly friend, that mortals 
carouse and become jovial at the mid-autumn festival. The reader 
will notice that it is not a hare that is worshipped, but a man, or 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 79 

genie, to whose form distance gives the outline of a hare. In spite 
of the long ears "which we see in those images sold in the streets, T'u 
Erh Ye must not be considered a member of the animal pentalogy 
which we discussed in these columns some weeks ago. The mid- 
autumn festival is free both of animal worship and animal super- 
stition." 

Fairy Tales. — Children appear, as indeed they naturally should, to 
be the soundest of all folk-lorists, for they show an instinctive pre- 
ference for the oldest, and, mythologically speaking, the purest form of 
the fairy-tale — the tale without a moral. Everybody knows that as soon 
as the narrator of a nursery-story " stoops to truth," and attempts to 
" moralize his song," no natural and healthy-minded child, no child 
who is worth his salt (and that is saying a good deal, for children 
require. very little salt), will have the song at any price. Its infancy, 
in fact, is in sympathy with the infancy of the race, when morals (of 
all sorts) were regarded as a strange an unintelligible excrescence 
upon human life. Nothing, in fact, appears to me to mark the legiti- 
mate and uncorrupted descent of a modern fairy-tale from a piece of 
immemorial folk-lore more unmistakably than the fact of its tacitly 
concluding, in the words of a lamented humorist, with an " As for 
the moral, it's what you please." In a recent interesting lecture, Mr. 
Lang discussed the question whether one of the most famous, and 
perhaps the most delightful, of our nursery stories was or was not 
originally told for the moral's sake ; and whether, consequently, the 
modern form beloved of every child, in which there is no moral, is or 
is not to be regarded as a degenerate version. Now Mr. Lang, a 
student of folk-lore comme il y en a pen, has doubtless thoroughly 
studied the genealogy of his " Puss in Boots," and if he is of opinion 
(though I rather gather from his language that he is not) that the 
oldest form of this particular story is the form with a moral, I should 
hesitate, as an inexpert in such matters, to maintain the contrary. 
But I should venture to maintain, as a general rule, that where any 
folk-tale exists in two forms — a moralized and an unmoralized one — 
the presumption of superior antiquity is strongly on the side of the 
latter. In addition to the general presumption, it is much less easy 
to comprehend the process by which a moral could drop out of a story 



80 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

in the course of its dispersion over the world than to comprehend how 
the reverse of that process could take place. The latter phenomenon 
is a mere incident of ethical growth : the former would have to be 
accounted for by what is certainly the difficult hypothesis that some 
races of lower civilisation have received the tradition of the particular 
myth from a more ethically advanced people. Meanwhile, let us all 
try and forgive Cruikshank for having re-written " Puss in Boots," 
because he considered that " it represented merely a series of success- 
ful falsehoods!" I have never seen this moralized version, but I 
should like to do so. " No, sir," replied Puss, '' these fields are not 
the property of my master, the Marquis of Carabas — who indeed, to 
be frank with you, for we should always speak the truth, is not a 
marquis at all. But he is something much better than a nobleman : 
he is a most excellent though penniless young man, and you would 
do well to allow him to marry your daughter." I suppose it must be 
something in that style. But I know that I should not have liked 
that style so well as I did the other when I was a child, and I think 
too well of the children of the present day to believe that their taste 
would be different from mine. D. H. Traill. 

— In the English Illustrated Magazine for January. 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 

Myth, Ritual, and Religion. By Andrew Lang. London, 1887 (Long- 
mans Green and Co.) 8vo, 2 vols. pp. xvi. 340 ; vii. 373. 

At last we have a book which deals with some of the most im- 
portant phases of mythology and folk-lore, and in no single instance 
confuses the provinces and terminology of these sciences. How con- 
siderable an advantage this is to the student only those who have long 
felt the difficulties of a loose system of terminology can readily under- 
stand. And there is no mistaking the comprehensive grasp which 
this book takes of the subject, and which it imparts to its readers. 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 81 

Whether we diflfer or not from Mr. Lang's conclusions, and his method 
of workmanship, it is only right to note that these features of his book 
render it one of the most important contributions to the history of 
prehistoric man which has recently been published. 

But on the whole we neither differ from Mr. Lang in his general 
conclusions, nor in his method of workmanship. 

Here and there it is probable that Mr. Lang may not have pushed 
his evidence to its legitimate end: here and there we should have 
wished for some more detail which was available for his use, but a 
very careful examination of the whole book compels us to admit that 
the position he takes up is impregnable. He disclaims the intention 
of attempting, or of having obtained, a "key to all mythologies"; 
but there is little doubt that a very great deal has been done towards 
this end. There are facts of human history which would account for 
the remarkable parallel between the most widely distributed races in 
matters of mythology and religion ; and by the critical examination of 
ritual and its survival in folk-lore Mr. Lang has gone a long way 
towards discovering what these facts might be. If he declines, doubt- 
less for good reasons enough, to go further than the immediate con- 
clusions to be drawn from his evidence, it is no reason why other 
scholars should not take up the work where Mr. Lang leaves off. 
Herein, indeed, lies the true strength of Mr. Lang's system. He will not 
go beyond the line he has set himself for a boundary, and consequently 
within this line he is absolutely sure of all his steps. The student 
will at once see what a gain this is to the science, and we cannot 
express our opinion in better terms than to recommend this book as a 
model to the coming generation of folk-lore and anthropological 
workers. If every one would take up a definite piece of work, perfect 
that, and then let us register his results, we should rapidly progress in 
knowledge. System in mapping out the true course of study and 
research is as essential as it is in arranging the details. 

It is unnecessary in these pages to explain what Mr. Lang's 
method is. Most of our readers will remember his statement of it in 
Cicstom and Myth, and the book before us is practically the carrying 
out of it on an extended plan. He notes that in the myth, ritual, and 
religion of advanced societies there are observances and beliefs which 

Vol. 6. — Part 1 G 



82 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

are grotesque, cruel, and oftentimes hideous and revolting ; and 
asking whence come these characteristics and why do they lurk along- 
side of a moi"e pure and highly cultured tone of thought, he appeals 
to the lower races and ascertains that in the customs and beliefs of 
savages there exist exact counterparts, but unaccompanied by any 
\ high tone of thought. Then, applying his method to phenomena thus 
ascertained, Mr. Lang isuggests that the people possessed of a high 
culture and retaining savage practices were once in a stage of devel- 
opment similar to the races novr extant who have never advanced to 
a high culture, it is difficult to conceive how this argument is to be 
met. Those who refer the savage practices preserved in some Greek 
ritual or myth to a borrowing from Babylonian or Egyptian sources 
do not really answer the question, for if it is got rid of so far as 
regards the Greek, which we do not admit, we have still to ask it as 
regards the Babylonian or Egyptian. And, of course, it becomes a 
legitimate inquiry to consider why the Greek, highly cultured, with 
magnificent art instincts and possessed of the most highly developed 
philosophical mind, should borrow from Babylonian or any other 
people practices and beliefs at complete variance with their own 
ideas. Having inherited them from their ancestors it would take 
whole generations of civilized thought to eradicate them ; but, not 
possessing them, to unthinkingly or designedly borrow them is a 
theory which will require much more conclusive arguments than have 
hitherto been advanced before it can be accepted, and which by the 
side of Mr. Lang's book seem absolutely inadequate to meet the 
position. 

Mr. Lang is always good in suggesting new branches of research 
and throwing unexpected light upon old facts by a new reading of 
them. His remarks upon the songs of incantation among savages 
(i. 101), and their connection with the rhyming formulae so often met 
with in mdrchen, is a case in point ; and we venture to think that they 
are but the preface to a very considerable and interesting inquiry. 
Another instance is afforded by his explanation of that curious custom, 
the couvade (ii. 223). On some matters we do not think Mr. Lang 
quite so correct, as, for instance, the very incidental way in which 
he connects property and rank with some of the customs he is de- 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 83 

scribing. We fancy that lie does not appreciate tbe labours of tbe late 
Mr. Lewis Morgan, and on points that Mr. Morgan has certainly 
much to tell us Mr. Lang is, in our opinion, deficient. But it is in 
the marA^ellousIy adroit use to which he puts his discoveries in local 
observances that Mr. Lang is really at his best, No one before him 
has seen that while at Athens or Sparta the worship of the gods wonld 
be attended by ceremonies which were more in keeping with the most 
advanced Greek life the lesser towns would use their own ceremonial, 
which, like the examples of Ombi and Tentyra, afford evidence of the 
old savage stage of culture. Mr. Lang does not often refer to Roman 
history, but if he had done so in this respect he would have found 
that local ritual and practices among the Romans reveal a similar 
state of things. 

Where everything is so well done, and where we agree so com- 
pletely as we do with Mr. Lang, it may seem almost trivial to note 
smaji blemishes, but we must confess to a frequent feeling of irritation 
that in so distinctively a scientific book expressions belonging to the 
humorous side of Mr. Lang's many-sided nature constantly crop up. 
This may be, perhaps, a fault of our's rather than of Mr. Lang's, but 
we are content to record our protest on the simple ground that in the 
hands of some imitator who would not be the literary artist that his 
master is, the practice would be simply imbearable. 

Totemism. By J. G. Frazer. Edinbxirgh, 1887 (A and C. Black) 
8vo. pp. viii. 96. 
Totemism is perhaps one of the most well-known featui'es of savage 
society as it has been made popular by the histories and fictions 
dealing with the American Indians. The late Mr. McLennan dis- 
covered that so far from being confined to one people or country there 
was almost certain evidence that it existed universally at certain 
stages of human culture. Few inquirers have followed up the hints 
conveyed by Mr. McLennan in his articles which appeared in the 
Fortnightly Review, but first Mr. Lang, and now Mr. Frazer, recognise 
the importance of the subject. Li all inquiries into phenomena which 
take a prominent place in human history, it is pre-eminently necessary 
to obtain a complete summary of the features which distinguish them 
in various parts of the world, and we cannot conceive of any more 

g2 



84 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

important work by antliropologists than the collection of such evidence. 
Mr. Frazer has produced a model for other inquirers. He finds that 
Totemism has a religious side and a social side — of course not 
distinguished by those who practise the various totemistic rites — and 
he groups his evidence under these two heads. To the well-known 
features o! totemism, descent from the totem, respect and worship 
for it, &c., are now added several other particulars which help us to 
realize that some of the least-explainable of savage rites and customs 
may be referred to totemism. This is veiy important. Mr. Frazer 
neither enlarges upon his theme nor develops any theories, but con- 
tents himself with giving facts and ample references to authorities — a 
piece of work which is as important to all anthropological students as 
it is evidence of the ungrudging generosity of a true scholar who loves 
his subject too well not to give it up to the world. Few better 
specimens of conscientious work have come within our notice, and 
although, following out the plan of his book, Mr. Frazer does not 
grapple with the puzzle as to what is the origin of totemism, we shall be 
much surprised if he has not actually hit upon the solution, and is pre- 
paring the result of his examination for publication. Nobody dealing 
with the various subjects which the history of man in pre-civilized 
stages presents to the inquirer can do without this book, and the 
folk-lorist will do well to study it before committing himself to the 
theories of the mythological school. 

It is proposed to form a society in America for the study of Folk- 
Lore, of which the principal object shall be to establish a Journal of a 
scientific character, designed : — (1) For the collection of the fast- 
vanishing remains of Folk-Lore in America, namely, — (a) Relics of 
old English Folk-Lore (ballads, tales, superstitions, dialect, &c. ;) 
(6) Lore of Negroes in the Southern States of the Union ; (c) Lore 
of the Indian Tribes of North America (myths, tales, &c.) ; (d) Lore 
o? French Canada, Mexico, &c. (2) For the study of the general 
subject, and publication of the results of special students in this 
department. Subscribers will please send their names to the Temporary 
Secretary, William Wells Newell, 175, Brattle Street, Cambridge, 
Mass. The name taken will probably be The American Folk- 
LoKE Society. 




FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LOEE. 

collected in and near washington, d.c. 
By W. H. Babcock. 

HE work of traditional fancy in and about Washington 
divides naturally into three branches : negro tradition, 
children's tradition, and adult tradition. These of course 
overlap each other, but not so as to cause any practical 
inconvenience in writing of them. 

The exclusively negro traditions consist of tales, games, and 
hymns, with some superstitions and peculiar practices. A good part 
of their folk-lore proper is of white derivation, or passes into that of 
the white race. They also preserve some songs which are unmistake- 
ably of English ballad origin, though not as yet discovered among 
white children. But the subdivision, as a whole, is very well marked, 
its roots being in the African nature, not the European. I have made 
only one or two slight incursions into this field, which I reserve for 
future effort. 

Fragments of the second class have appeared in Lippincott" s 
Magazine and elsewhere ; but I expect shortly to make a more full 
and systematic representation in the Anthropologist of this city. I 
have been able to collect about a hundred games, involving some lite- 
rary or fanciful element, without going even into our suburbs. No 
doubt there are many ears left for the gleaner. 

The adult traditions take one farther afield, the wonder-tales in 
particular being scattered at irregular distances up or down the river. 
Each belongs to a place, and may be considered as an attempted 
explanation of something unusual also belonging thereto. I will 
begin with them. 

Vol. G. — Paut 2. H 



86 FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 

The Spectral Drummer Boy. 

Three miles above Georgetown (now "West Washington) the 
Potomac in a narrow stream comes shattering through and over a 
mass of rocks, making a " rapid " rather than a cataract, which is 
known as the Little Falls. The Virginia shore rises from the water's 
edge in precipices of considerable height, generally wooded, here and 
there indented by ravines, and at some points blasted out by quarry- 
men. The Maryland shore is flat; at low water a labyrinth of rocks 
and thickets, pools and devious waterways; in times of freshet a reach 
of hidden obstructions where the water tears and boils and wears 
great hollows with stone in stone. From the Chain Bridge, inaccu- 
rately so called, you look down on the ceaseless rush and upflowering 
against the piers. It is the very place for strange and musical noises, 
and the fancies which should go with them ; and there, from time to 
time, has verily been heard the phantom drum. 

It seems that in one of the early British expeditions a boat-load of 
soldiers attempted to cross the river, where the water widens about a 
quarter of a mile below the falls. Near the Maryland shore they 
were upset, and a drummer boy who was with them went down, and 
never rose again. But his music did not cease. He played one tune 
down below, and that usually in token of coming death. My first 
informants had heard the sound more than once when out fishing, 
and made all haste for the shore. But they knew of a less fortunate 
result of the warning. A certain river man, growing tired of the 
endless repetition of notes in the same order, turned on his unseen 
borer, demanding with a curse, " Can't you play anything but that ? " 
My narrator added with all solemnity, " That man never reached the 
shore alive." 

The main items of the legend, with certain additions which I did 
not get at first hand, were first made public by Mr. Charles Lanneau 
in one of his books, he having derived them from an old fisherman 
who was dead when my inquiries began. I have since heard the tale, 
with slight additions, from divers persons. The musician is heard by 
those ashore as well as by those afloat ; occasionally he seems to be 
ashore also; and finally there are those who believe him to have come 



FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 87 

as a ghostly herald or accompaniment of war, and discountenance all 
faith in his performances since 1865. 

The Three Sisters. 

About half a mile above the city limits there are three rocky islets. 
Just below the last of these three rock-points rise out of water at low 
tide. Some say that just here the sisters were drowned. One account 
makes them Indian maidens out fishing ; another, white damsels 
going to mill. The three islands, it used to be said, came up to 
mark their resting-places; but the popular credulity which can still 
swallow and digest a drum-playing phantom is no longer equal to 
dealing with such gymnastics on the part of great masses of stone. 
Also one hears no longer of a certain dreaded whirlpool near that 
group, which young swimmers once knew of. Old residents insist on 
the actual death of three sisters by an overset boat; but the circum- 
stances raise a strong presumption in favour of the theory that the 
three neighboming islands called for a metaphorical name, and the 
name in turn called for some fancy work by way of justifying it. 

The Devil's Jump. 

Fifteen miles down the river the Piscataway joins it from the north 
by a broad, shallow estuary, once navigable, now choked; most 
probably by the uptilting of strata. The region about it was early 
settled, the village of the above name appearing on maps of over 
two hundred years ago. Near it Tinker's Branch, a tributary, flows 
in. Following this beyond the deserted Chapel Hill, where white 
men's graves are going as the red men's have gone before, you come 
to a wild cluster of steep ravines, branching like the fingers of one's 
hand, converging toward the south-eastward, and overgrown with 
magnificent forestry. It is a spot sacred to Pan, or rather Satan, 
for he took from here his twenty-mile leap to Port Tobacco over the 
open country lying stretched before you; and moreover, according to 
one account he is even yet to be dreaded hereabout by sinners late o' 
nights, for he has not lost his agility. This curious fragment of a 
tale and the local name, the Devil's Jump, have lasted lor at least a 

H 2 



88 FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 

generation, and spread over many miles. Beyond the rather savage 
picturesqueness of the place, its secluded situation, and the chance 
that Indian rites may once have taken place there, I know of nothing 
to throw light on the matter. 

The Pincushion Stone. 

Crossing the river and going a very little downward, you would 
come to what was formerly the Mount Vernon estate. Professor 
Otis T. Mason, who formerly dwelt on a part of it, tells me that at 
the crossing of two roads there formerly stood an upright landmark, 
or what seemed to be one, which went by the above title. It was said 
that a man had murdered his wife there because of a quarrel about a 
pincushion ; and that in (rather illogical) consequence she lay in wait 
at this point for benighted wayfarers, whom she delighted to stick 
full of pins. A sceptic finally took up the stone and built it into his 
barn by way of disproof; but unluckily the barn took fire and burned 
down, a series of misfortunes followed, and in the end the hold of the 
Pincushion Stone on popular credulity was stronger than ever. 

The Treasure of Cacapan. 

Cacapan creek is one of the minor affluents of the Potomac while 
that river passes through the Alleghany ridges ; and one of the minor 
folds of those ridges parallel with the creek is known as Cacapan 
mountain. Walking over this beside a mountaineer some years ago, 
I heard from him a local legend which sounded to me like something 
fresh from the old world. I had asked him if there were any mines of 
valuable metals thereabout. After some information of a common- 
place kind, he added that as to gold and silver there was plenty of 
them in the mountains as everybody knew ; and the place had been 
found. A lot of foreign men, who acted very queerly, and kept to 
themselves, and who spoke a language which nobody about them 
could understand, had settled along that mountain, and dug into it, 
and found gold there. They worked at night mostly ; and at last left 
suddenly, and covered the hole with a stone, and put a spell on it. 
For a long time nobody could find the spot ; but a man out hunting 



FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 89 

came on it in a thicket and tried to raise the stone, but failed. He 
went for help, but could not lead them back to where it was. After- 
ward a man looking for sheep or cattle discovered it ; but he could 
not lift it either, and proved a bad pilot likewise. These men had 
described it as marked with very strange letters. Now in that neigh- 
bourhood there was a negro who pretended to that kind of magic 
which is commonly supposed to belong to Vaudos or other heathen 
rites, although most of those who practise it claim to be Christians. 
He determined to set his black lore against that of the foreigners ; 
and succeeded not only in finding the stone but in partly lifting it also. 
Then there was a sudden rush of enemies whom he could not see, and 
he felt blows falling all over him as he was fleeing headlong down the 
mountain-side. Nobody has ever found the magically-anchored stone 
since that day. 

Ghost-stories are attached to various houses in Washington as in 
other cities, but they are of recent date, or ordinary features, pre- 
senting nothing, so far as I know, that would interest a student of 
folk-lore. We are quite without any ghost-laying parsons, or any 
faith in such ; and the services of our rather numerous scientific 
societies have not as yet been called into requisition. Across Chesa- 
peake bay, in Queen Anne county, Maryland, there is an unique tale, 
of long standing, wherein a ghost appears by daylight, evidently from 
a very hot place, makes a demand for certain moneys on behalf of his 
children, and burns his finger-points into a fence-rail to attest the 
verity of his presence. This rail, I am assured, was actually produced 
in court as documentary evidence. But I am travelling beyond my 
proper bounds. 

Animal Lore. 

Some elements of this are hardly less marvellous. Now and then 
they take a narrative form, though of course not confined to any 
places. 

Of the mole it is said that he once had excellent eyes, but no tail. 
The other animals jeered at him for this deficiency. Meeting a 
creature, or being (of which I could get no more definite account), he 
bewailed his tailless condition. The ofFer was then made to him by 



90 FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 

this one of preternatural power that he should give up his eyesight in 
exchange for his tail. He accepted, and the mole goes blind, but 
with a slim tail, to thisday. 

In another narrative the mole is a young lady who was too proud to 
be tolerated. So she wears fine clothes underground, and has no eyes 
either for her own beauty or that of others. 

The fore-paws of a mole cut off and hung around a child's neck are 
considered an excellent assistance in teething. 

The large rock-fish, or striped bass, are found to be unwholesome 
at certain seasons. This is caused by their bad habit of feeding on 
the copper-mines under the sea. 

There are divers creatures of fabulous or exaggerated attributes 
about our homes. Thus the "wood-bitch" will attack man, leaping 
upon him in the spring from some tree. Her bite is fatal. The 
"ground-dog" keeps close to the earth, but can bark and bite, being 
a degree less dangerous. Both of these must be salamanders by the 
description I have of them. So, too, the " scorpion," which is bright 
coloured, and runs along fence-rails, not having much in common with 
the diabolical wingless little dragon, which goes elsewhere more 
properly by the same name. The "sassafras-worm" has a face some- 
what like an owl, feeds on the sassafras-tree, and stings severely. 
The " corn-worm" I suppose to be some large and active grub which 
devotes itself in like manner to the maize. It is dreaded by workers 
in the field. 

The "fire-tangler" is a caterpillar with a feathery parti-coloured 
fan-like tail, very handsome and very virulent I have seen its work, 
which was very effective. The "rearhorse" is the Carolina mantis, 
one of our oddest insect figures. The " devil's saddle-horse " is an 
ugly predatory creature, not growing so large as the other, but bearing 
a mark like a saddle on his back. The " blood-'n-'oven," or "blood- 
nout," is the deep-voiced green batrachian elsewhere known as " bull- 
frog." The "bull-bat" is the "night-hawk" of the north, a near 
cousin of the English goat-sucker. " Chimney-bats" are swifts. The 
" rain-crow " is the cuckoo, and a weather-prophet. 

When it is ebb-tide the slits in a cat's eyes are horizontal; flood- 
tide, vertical. 



FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 91 

When a sleeping dog " hunts in dreams," some one is coming from 
the direction in which his nose points. 

Hang up a dead snake, and it will rain to-morrow. 

Kill a frog, and it will rain hard for three days. 

A cock crowing at the door announces a visitor. 

If he walks in, turns round and crows, he announces a death in the 
family. 

Moon-lore. 

The moon lying on her back indicates rain. 

The moon pointing to the south-east does likewise. 

There will be no change in the weather until the moon changes. 

Potatoes should be planted in the dark of the moon or they will 
not thrive. This applies to seeds, in a less degree. 

Fish will bite better in the change of the moon. 

A spring should be cleaned only in a certain time of the moon. 
Informant not sure which. 

A child born at the full of the moon will be a boy. 

Omens and Divinations. 

If you open an umbrella in the house, the youngest person present 

will die. 

If you hang a coat or hat on the door-knob of a door or door-bell, 

the youngest of the house will die. 

It is unlucky to sweep the dirt out of the house after 12 a.m. That 
is the time for funerals. 

It is unlucky to go in at one door and out at another. (As life 

does ?) 

It is not wise to set a hen during a certain part of August. The 

life of the world is at its lowest then. 

On a journey, if you meet a woman, it is bad luck. If an old 
woman, it is worse. If you speak to her, worst of all. 

Take the combings of your hair, and burn them. If they burn 
steadily for a long time, you will live long also. If the blaze flashes 
up and dies out quickly, your life will do likewise. 

A piece of paper is sometimes used instead. 



92 FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 

• If two people are about to wash their hands in the same water, they 
must sign the cross over it, or they will quarrel. 

If two persons going hand-in-hand meet an obstacle which divides 
them, the one on the left will go to hell, the one on the right to 
heaven. Another version substitutes " good luck " and " bad luck " 
for this impromptu day of judgment. 

If you drop a pair of scissors, and one point sticks in the floor, 
a visitor is foretold from the direction in which the other leg is 
extended. 

If you find a four-leaved clover, put it in your slipper. Look in 
after a week, but not till then, and you will find a gold bracelet. 

If you find a four-leaved clover, you will have good fortune. 

To determine whether you are loved or not, strike a match. If it 
goes out before it crumbles to pieces, yes ; if not, no. 

Or, fold a rose-petal to form a bag. Knock it on your hand. If 
it makes a loud noise, yes ; if not, no. 

You must keep very quiet after a wedding as the bride passes out. 
If you can hear a pin drop, that is good luck. 

" Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger, 
Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger, 
Sneeze on Wednesday, expect a letter, 
Sneeze on Thursday, expect something better, 
Sneeze on Friday, joy and sorrow, 
Sneeze on Saturday, joy to-morrow." 

Luck in Birth. 

" Monday for wealth, 
Tuesday for health, 
Wednesday the best day of all ; 
• . Thursday for losses, 

Friday for crosses, 
Saturday, no luck at all." 

Infancy. 

A child which has never seen its father possesses through life the 
power of curing most diseases, especially whooping-cough. The 
remedy is applied by blowing down the patient's throat. 



FOLK-TALES AND FOLK-LORE. 93 

An infant born with a caul has the gift of seeing spirits. The only 
way to prevent this is to keep the caul carefully as long as he (or 
she) lives, and not to let him (or her) ever see it. 

A cradle must not be rocked while empty, or the child's death will 
soon make it empty indeed. 

A cradle must not be moved by two persons. Two would move the 
child's coffin. 

A child should not be laid on the table or measured, these acts 
being ominous of death. 

If a sick child smiles as though recognising some one, it has been 
called, and will soon go to another world. 

Baptism (by the mark of the cross) will make a child sleep better 
thereafter. 

Baptism (by the mark of the cross) is a cure for sickness. 

An infant must be carried upstairs before it has ever gone down- 
stairs. Otherwise it will keep going down all its life. 

Charms. 

For warts. — Touch the wart with a stick, looking over your 
shoulder at the new moon. Then throw the stick away, and be 
careful not to look at the moon or the stick again that night. 

Take stones and smear them with blood from the wart. Throw 
them away. Whoever steps on the stones will get the wart, and you' 
will lose it. 

For freckles. — Count them, and throw an equal number of pebbles 
in a paper. Whoever steps on the paper will get the freckles. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, I presume. Indeed, it repre- 
sents, more probably, but a very small part of what might be collected. 
Some of the above sayings have currency mainly in certain classes of 
adults, farm labourers, for example, or nurses ; others are of recent 
importation from remoter pai*ts of the neighbouring states, and may 
not stay with us permanently ; a few would rarely, if at all, be heard 
except among the negroes or the children ; yet taking the past and 



94 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

future into consideration they are hardly assignable to either of the 
two corresponding classes. As a whole they are anything but homo- 
geneous, having come trooping here from divers quarters of perhaps 
three continents. 




CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LOEE AND IN 

SCIENCE. 



[A Lecture delivered before the Philosophical Institute of Edinburgh, Dec. 6th, 
1887, by the Hon. Ralph Abercrombj.] 



HE last time I had the honour of addressing an audience 
in this hall it was for the purpose of explaining modern 
developments of cloud-knowledge from a meteorological 
point of view. To-night, I propose to cast a glance 
backwards, so as to bring to your notice the manner in which people 
in ancient times have looked at clouds, and the extraordinary influence 
which the imagery they saw in cloud-forms had on their mental 
development. 

Two important facts connected with cloud-forms will greatly simplify 
our task. In the first place, cloud-forms are essentially the same all 
over the world, as I shall show you incidentally during this lecture ; 
and, in the second place, though no two clouds are ever the same, 
any more than two faces, still, all varieties of combinations are essen- 
tially reducible to six or seven fundamental structures. 

I think the best way will be to show you successively seven of the 
fundamental structures of clouds, chiefly by means of photographs 
taken by myself in various parts of the world. Then, when you see 
the cloud on the screen, you will readily realise how the forms have 
suggested ideas to savages, and how these ideas have grown into 
mythology. I will next remark on the survivals of that attitude of 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 95 

mind which are still current in the names that are used by rustics to 
denote certain forms of cloud, and then give the modern explanation 
of the origin of each type of cloud-structure. 

Finally we will consider the difiference in the attitude of mind 
induced by ancient and modern thought, and show the great superi- 
ority of what we may call the scientific spirit to the frame of mind 
that is influenced by poetry and by art. 

Hairy Structure. 

We will begin with that hairy or fibrous structure which is uni- 
versally known as " cirrus." This is a form of cloud which unfor- 
tunately it is almost impossible to photograph. The picture* now on 
the screen is a rather heavy wisp of cirrus taken near London, in 
which you see the fibrous structure of the end of the cloud. The 
picture was taken at sunset, so that the cloud appears dark against a 
bright background. 

The next example is from a beautiful drawing by Mr. C. Ley, the 
great authority on clouds, where you see two typical examples of the 
commonest forms of cirrus. The upper wisps have often been called 
" cirrus claws," from a fancied analogy to the claws of a bird, while 
the lower mass, where a patch of cloud is drawn out into hairs, looks 
something like a flattened centipede. 

Now a glance at these pictures will explain at once how in an early 
stage of civilisation people saw hairy monsters in the sky, and there 
is no doubt that many mythological stories have grown out of or been 
suggested by hairy cirrus. 

There are numerous survivals of this attitude of mind in present 
use; " mares'-tails " (Fig. 1, see next page), or the long wisps of 
cirrus which often precede or accompany wind, are familiar to you all. 
So also is ''goat's hair," to which we shall refer again, though here 
it will suffice to mention that one of the monsters of Greek mytho- 
logy was called " Chimaera," or the she-goat. 

Other less known forms of cirrus are known as " sea-grass," " cats' 

* This and many other allusions to illustrations refer to pictures shown at the 
lecture, and not to examples given in this printed paper. 



96 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 



tails," and cocks'-plumes." The last two are of great importance as 
they are the almost invariable precursors of tropical hurricanes. 

The history of the word cirrus, which is now applied to hairy clouds, 
affords an extraordinary illustration of the persistency of the same 
ideas in men's minds in different ages. Cirrus was first used about 
fifty years ago by Mr. Luke Howard, a Quaker, to whom any name 
connected with heathen mythology was specially distasteful. Still, 
when looking about for a word for this cloud structure, he selected the 




Fig. 1. — Mares' Tails : a form of Cirrus. From a Photograph 
by Osti of Upsala. 

Latin word cirrus or a curl of hair, little knowing that he was 
reproducing exactly the same idea as suggested the Chimaera and 
other mythological monsters. 

Another form of cirrus takes rather the form of long lines than of 
hairy wisps. 

The example now before you is from the tropics, and here we see 
a line of cirrus over the top of a fine rocky cumulus, while in this 
picture yon see cirrus-stripes taken near Dover, which do not converge 
because they are not seen end on. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 97 

- The lines when long enough always appear to converge in perspective 
towards some two points on the horizon exactly opposite to each other; 
and numerous curious names have been given to this appearance of the 
clouds. In England and Sweden the converging stripes are called 
" Noah's ark," and several weather prognostics depend on whether 
the ark turns its head to the wind, and whether the windows are open 
or shut. What phase of cloud represents the windows I cannot say, 
for I have never heard the expression myself applied to an actual 
cloud, but it may have reference to the cross-barred or striated struc- 
ture which cirrus-stripes so often exhibit. 

In Rhineland a similar form of cirrus is called the " sea ship," or 
" Mary's ship," and in all cases the converging stripes appear to have 
suggested the timbers of a ship tapering towards the bow and stern. 

We shall show presently the modern explanation of the origin of 
cirrus ; that of cirrus-stripes, and reason why they sometimes lie across 
the wind, and why they at other times turn their head to the wind is 
far too complicated for a popular lecture. SufQce it say that we do 
not now see fanciful forms in cirrus-stripes, but rather the product of 
threads of vapour being condensed and drawn out by currents of air 
20,000 feet above the earth ; and that we can often get useful 
information respecting coming weather by noting the direction and 
motion of these thin lines of hairy cloud. 

Fleecy Structure. 

There is another type of structure to which it is impossible to give 
a better epithet than fleecy. We often see a lovely, bright cloud high 
in the heavens that looks exactly like a sheep's fleece, and totally 
unlike any other cloud-form. It is found all over the world. The 
picture you now see was taken at Folkestone, while this heavier form 
of the same cloud is from the " Doldrums " in the North Atlantic, 
and this beautiful specimen (Fig. 2, see next page) is from near the 
Falkland Islands. 

I cannot give you any mythological or folk-lore story which refers 
exactly to this kind of cloud, but I have Jio doubt that some of the 
imagery of the Greek legends has been taken from this source. At the 
present time, however, nearly every country uses the word fleecy, or some 



98 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

term derived from a slieep to denote this structure. We often call it 
" wool-pack," the Germans dub these cloudlets " schafschen," while 
the Italians talk of " El ciel pecorello," all of which contain the same 
idea of something fleecy. 

In another allied form we get a flock of cloudlets without a 
characteristic fleecy look, and then there is the familiar appearance of 
what is called " mackerel-sky " or " mackerel-scales,*' and also the 
less well-known forms, "the salmon" and "the hake." I am sorry 
that I cannot show a photograph or even a good drawing of these 
clouds (as they are not common), and their forms are not easy to 
delineate. 




Fig. 2. — Fleecy Cloud, near Falkland Islands. 

To those who know this kind of sky it is, however, easy to see how 
the forms have suggested the idea of fishes to people who dealt much 
in fish. 

The explanation of the origin of fleecy clouds has not yet been alto- 
gether discovered. There is, however, no doubt that they are formed 
somehow by the action of two currents of air, moving either at different 
speeds, or in different directions one above the other, on a thin sheet 
of cloud that lies between them. Sand is often blown into ridges 
transverse to the wind like waves of the sea, and we can reproduce 
the structure of fleecy clouds in an extraordinary manner by making 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 



99 



the water in a bucket wliich contains a little very fine sand oscillate to 
and fro. We cannot, however, suppose that air oscillates this way 
backwards and forwards, though one current may easily flow over 
another in puffs or gusts. We also often see rising mist dragging 
along a mountain side assume a very fleecy appearance, apparently 
owing to the effect of little eddies caused by friction along the ground. 
Here is a very good example of a rising drifting mist taken by myself 
in the Himalayas from an altitude of nearly ten thousand feet. You 
see that the lowest and thinnest part of the mist is decidedly fleecy in 
structure. 

But whatever uncertainty there may be as to some of the conditions 
under which fleecy clouds are developed, whenever we do see them we 
do not think about flocks of sheep, or of who shepherds the herd, but 
of the upper currents of the atmosphere, and of their varying speed 
and direction, and of what circulation of the atmosphere will produce 
the woolly structure. 

Flat Structure. 
I shall pass by with barest notice the flat thin layers or sheets of 
cloud that are so often found in fine weather, and which are technically 
known as stratus-clouds. Here is a typical example from London 
( Fig. 3), and another one nearly from the Antipodes, at Ohinemotu in 
New Zealand. 




Fig. 3.— Flat Cloud, usually known as Stratus. Taken in London. 



100 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

There is so little distinctive about this cloud-form that it scarcely 
appears in folk-lore, though I believe that in Lancashii-e these flat 
sheets of condensed vapour are still called " the blanket of the sun." 

We will therefore pass on to the most striking and important. 

KocKY Structure. 

In this form the summit of the cloud is always more or less rocky 
or lumpy, but the varieties are innumerable. Meteorologists call the 
whole class — cumulus. 

{Sometimes, as in this illustration from the Brazilian coast, you see 
small detached clouds, each with its own rocky top above a flat base ; 
while in this beautiful picture of Rio Janeiro you see a mountainous 
mass of cloud rising out of the gloom below it. The third example I 
have put on the screen is a rocky cloud in London, simply to show that 
the form of cloud there is essentially the same as in South America. 

There is no doubt that some mythical caves and mountains have 
their origin in rocky clouds, but it is always difficult to separate these 
legends from the purely folk-lore story of human incident. 

Sometimes these threatening masses of rainy cloud are associated 
with low hairy cloud, something like the form of cirrus we have called 
" goat's-hair." Here is a typical illustration from a thunderstorm 
in Borneo (Fig. 4), where you see the cloud on the top of the picture 




Fig. 4.— Mountainous Cumulus, drawn out into a sort of " Goat's 
hair" above, over a thunderstorm in Borneo. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 101 

combed out, as it were, into a hairy mass in front of the heavy cloud- 
bank below. 

I have no doubt that the old Norse idea of Thor's chariot being 
drawn by goats had its origin in this phase of cloud building. Here 
is an exact quotation from the story of Rungni in Theodwolf 's haust- 
long, as given by Mr. Vigfuson. 

" Theodwolf's Haustlong. 

" The story oj Rungni. — Next I see how the terror of the giants 
(Thor) visited the cave-dweller, Rungni, at Rockgarth, in a ring of 
flame. The son of earth drove to the battle, and the moon's path 
(heaven) thundered beneath him. The whole ether was on fire about 
him, and the flat outstretched ground below him was beaten with the 
hail. Yea, the earth was rent asunder as the goats drew the chariot- 
god on to his tryst with Rungni." 

So that where man in the myth-making and poetic epoch of 
development speaks of Thor's chariot being drawn by goats the more 
prosaic man of modern times notes the combing out of a cloud in 
front of rocky looldng masses, popularly known as " goats'-hair," as a 
sign of impending rain. 

Unfortunately we cannot explain this curious appearance, but it is 
certain that it is due to the condensation of vapour under certain 
conditions that we do not know at present. 

In another form of rocky structure, the cloud takes the form of a 
number of small heads, usually all in a line. 

Here is a beautiful slide, from a sketch by Mr. Ley, of a type which 
so frequently precedes thunderstorms that they are called " thunder- 
heads " in many parts of the country. 

There is no doubt that the hundred-headed monsters, and three- 
headed dogs, which play so large a part in all mythologies, have their 
mental origin in this form of rocky cloud. The idea of a cloud-form, 
like heads, is perpetually cropping up. 

We have already mentioned one cloud-name that contains the idea 
of a head; but we often see on the west coast a small detached, lumpy, 
patch of cloud, usually above a heavy gust, which fishermen call the 

Vol. 6.— Part 2. i 



102 CLOUD-LAND IN FoLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

"wind-gall," or "wind-dog." When the sun suits, and a little frag- 
ment of rainbow forms at the side of the cloud, the whole is called 
a " boar's head." I have no doubt that the little bit of shiny bow on 
the side of the knobby cloud has suggested the idea of a boar's tusk. 

In mythology and folk-lore all these phases of rocky structure are 
naturally combined and confused, for they all occur together during 
thunderstorms. The rocky cavernous masses of cloud, the small 
heads of condensed vapour, and the hairy structure in front of ominous 
gloom, are all combined in folk's minds, till cloudland is peopled with 
hairy monsters and many-headed dragons. 

Here is an extract from some Chinese historical records nearly 
three hundred years ago : — 

" A.D. 1605. A couple of dragons fought at Whampoa and tore 
up a large tree, and demolished several tens of houses. 

"a.d. 1608,4th moon. A gyrating dragon was seen over the 
decorated summit of a pagoda ; all around were clouds and fog, the 
tail only of the dragon was visible ; in the space of eating a meal it 
went away, leaving the marks of its claws on the pagoda." 

These manifestly refer to the long narrow funnel, or tail-shaped 
cloud, which constitutes the spout of a tornado or whirlwind. 

Even in our own time the idea of monsters embracing the heavens 
and fighting with the sun strikes many minds. The following extract is 
from a charming book by a London barrister published about ten 
years ago.* At page 46 we find the following: — 

" October 4th, 1880. Wind E.S.E. At midday in long. 25° 1' W. 
lat. 10° 32' N. ; distance made this day 152 miles. During the day 
the wind came round till it was quite aft. The glass fell rather 
suddenly — more than a tenth in a few hours. In the evening there 
was a wild appearance of the sky, slight squalls of wind and rain, and 
signs of worse weather coming ; then followed a magnificent sunset, 
ominous of a storm, and a calm for a while. 

" So threatening was the appearance of the heavens to windward 
that all hands stayed on deck to see what was coming. Eight aft we 
perceived an inky mass of cloud rising from the horizon. It had 
huge rugged black streaks diverging from it in all directions like the 

* From Knight's Cruize of the Falcon, pp. 46-47. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 103 

claws or arms of some great monster crab or polypus. Bigger and 
bigger the threatening mass swelled, and the evil-looking arms 
stretched half round the horizon to the zenith, as if the monster was 
about to enclose the whole world in its grasp — a wonderful and awful 
appearance. Our sails flapped as we rolled in the calm ; we lowered 
the mainsail, made all snug, and awaited. First, constant and vivid 
sheet and forked lightning of a blue colour came out of the cloud, and 
then down burst the squall on us, and such a squall. The cloud had 
enveloped all the sky, had blotted out all the stars ; never have I 
experienced so complete a darkness on the seas. The wind blew with 
great fury ; and we could not turn our faces to the stinging rain, so 
smartly it struck. We scudded on before the heavy gusts." 

The modern explanation of rocky cloud is very simple. Under 
certain circumstances air seems to rise in columns, when it is chilled, 
both by its own expansion and by its projection into the colder 
regions of the atmosphere. At some height a temperature will be 
reached when the vapour in the air is condensed. This level gives 
the line of the flat base of the cloud, while the rocky summits are 
formed by the air rushing up like the steam out of the funnel of a 
locomotive. Rocky clouds are in fact the visible capital of an invisible 
column of air. 

The form and details depend on circumstances. On a fine day 
evaporation produces a beautiful, quiet, and peaceable looking cloud, 
while the rolling eddies in front of a thunderstorm produce wild- 
looking masses of extraordinary shape, whose terrifying effect is 
enhanced by their inky look and by the ominous calm which precede 
an impending storm. 

Here is a diagram to show the general idea of the origin of rocky 
cloud where the dotted lines below indicate the position of the rising 
air column under the rocky cloud. 

Sometimes a column of rising air gets attenuated into a thread, 
and when this condenses we get a hairy or fibrous cloud. This I 
have endeavoured to show in the upper part of the diagram. 

There are numerous forms of hairy structure which we cannot at 
present explain, but they are all unquestionably only forms of con- 
densed vapour drawn out into threads and fibres, as we so often see 

I2 



104 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

dust blown out by the wind, or possibly by some electrical action 
between the particles of ice or water-dust. 

Pendulous, oe Festooned Structure. 

In another very marked type of structure the under surface of a cloud 
is festooned downwards, as in the diagram now before you (Fig. 5), 
which is from a sketch by Mr. Clouston of Orkney. Up there they 
call this the " pocky," i.e. the pocket-cloud ; while in Lancashire 
these somewhat globular masses are known as " rain-balls." This is 
because this cloud is almost the invariable precursor of a heavy 
shower. 




Fig. 5. — The Udders of the Cows of Indra Festooned Clouds. 

The poets who wrote the Vedic hymns talk of the udders of the 
cows of Indra, which drop richness on the earth ; and to show how 
persistently the same idea is suggested by the same forms Mr. C. 
Ley has proposed the technical name of mammato-cumulus for this 
shape of cloud. 

The modern explanation of festooned clouds assumes that the 
ascentional column of air which forms flat-based cumulus suddenly 
fails, and that then the cloud begins to fall downwards. 

Flat Lumpy Structure. 

Lastly there is a cloud structure, intermediate between flat cloud 
and rocky cloud, which is known to meteorologists as strato-cumulus. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 



105 



Here is an example from the English Channel, and two beautiful 
examples from near Teneriffe. 

It is evident that the form is not very distinctive, but you see in one 
of the last two pictures (Fig. 6) a striking appearance, Avhich has 
apparently impressed men's minds in all countries. When the sun 
shines through the chinks of this kind of cloud we see a sheaf of diverg- 
ing rays radiating from him. This is when he is above the horizon, 
but in finer climates than our own we sometimes see a beautiful fan 




Fig. 6. — The Ropes of Maui. Rays of light diverging from 
the sun behind a cloud. Near Teneriffe. 

of pink rays streaming up from below the horizon just after sunset or 
before sunrise. These last are technically known as crepuscular or 
twilight rays. 

In this country the first of these kinds of rays, when the sun is 
above the horizon, is universally known as " the sun drawing water." 
In Yorkshire, I believe, they call this appearance " the ship," from 
a fancied resemblance to the shrouds and rigging of a ship; and when 
looking at these rays I have heard a sailor say that " the sun was 
setting up his back-stays." 

In Denmark they talk of "Locke drawing water," which is a 
distinct survival of some attribute of that strange god Locke in the 
Eddas, who is alternately the betrayer and saviour of his brother Asas. 

Both forms of rays are very common in Ceylon, where they are 



106 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

known as "Buddha's rays"; while in the Harvey Islands, between 
Fiji and Tahiti, they are called " the ropes of Maui." 

The following beautiful story of Maui, the great hero of the 
Pacilic, is a typical specimen of a folk-lore story, where some of the 
imagery has been suggested by appearances in the sky. 

The Legend op Maui. 

Maui was the great hero of the Pacific, and had already not only 
discovered the secret of fire for the use of mortals, but had elevated 
the sky above the earth ; the sun, however, had a trick of setting 
every now and then, so that it was impossible to get through any 
work, even an oven of food could not be prepared and cooked before 
the sun had set ; nor could an incantation to the gods be chaunted 
through, ere the world was overtaken by darkness. 

Now Ra, or the Sun, is a living creature and divine ; in form 
resembling a man, and possessed of fearful energy. His golden locks 
are displayed morning and evening to mankind. But Tatanga 
advised her son not to have anything to do with Ra; as many had at 
different times endeavoured to regulate his movements, and had all 
signally failed. But the redoubtable Maui was not to be discouraged, 
and resolved to capture the sun god Ra. 

Maui now plaited six great ropes of strong cocoa-nut fibre, each of 
four strands, and of a great length. He started off with his ropes to 
the distant aperture through which the sun climbs up from Avaiki, or 
the land of ghosts, into the heavens, and there laid a slip-noose for 
him. Further on in the Sun's path a second trap was laid ; in fact 
all the six ropes were placed at distant intervals along the accustomed 
route of Ra. 

Very early in the morning the unsuspecting Sun clambered up 
from Avaiki to perform his usual journey through the heavens. Maui 
was lying in wait near the first noose and exultingly pulled it ; but it 
slipped down the Sun's body and only caught his feet. Maui ran 
forward to look after the second noose, but that likewise slipped, though 
luckily it closed round the Sun's knees ; the third caught him round 
the hips ; the fourth round the waist ; the fifth under the arms. 
Still the Sun went tearing on his path, scarcely heeding the con- 
trivances of Maui, but happily for Maui's designs the sixth and last 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 107 

of the nooses caught the Sun round the neck. Ra, or the Sun, now 
terribly frightened, struggled hard for his liberty, but to no purpose. 
For Maui pulled the rope so tight as almost to strangle the Sun, and 
then fastened the end of his rope to a point of rock. 

Ra, now nearly dead, confessed himself to be vanquished ; and, 
fearing for his life, gladly agreed to the demand of Maui that ha 
should be in future a little more reasonable and deliberate in his move- 
ments through the heavens so as to enable the inhabitants of this 
world to get through their employments with ease. 

The Sun god Ra was now allowed to proceed on his way ; but Maui 
wisely declined to take off these ropes, wishing to keep Ra in constant 
fear. These ropes may still be seen hanging from the Sun at dawn 
and when he descends into the ocean at night. By the assistance of 
the ropes he is gently let down into Avaiki, and in the morning 
raised up out of the shades ; while the islanders still say when they 
see rays of light diverging from the Sun, " Tena te taura a Maui ! " 
" Behold the ropes of Maui. " 

Such is the pretty story as given by Mr. W. W. Gill, in his 
Myths and Songs of the South Pacific, and it would be impossible to 
find a simpler instance of a nature folk-lore story, or tale to account 
for the origin of the aspects of nature. Here we have the story in 
a simple form, but Sir George Grey gives a variant of the same from 
New Zealand in which all trace of nature origin is lost. 

What we have to note here is that a climate where rays form nearly 
every day is very different from that of Scotland, where the anpearance 
is uncommon. I wish I could have developed here in more detail the 
relation of mythology to climate. 

The modern explanation of diverging rays is very simple. They 
are simply parallel rays of light, streaming through chinks between 
the clouds, but appearing to converge from the effect of perspective. 
When the sun is high, the rays appear bright against the dark under- 
surface of the clouds, which are in shadow ; but when the sun is 
below the horizon the rays are pink and the surrounding sky green. 

Fog and Mist. 

These need not detain us long, as they are too formless to attract 
men's minds. 



108 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

There is however a very pretty Bengalese tale to explain the origin 
of mist, which is such a typical example of a folk-lore story in which 
nature has furnished none of the imagery that I will now read it 
to you. 

The origin of mist is grounded on the following story. 

One fine summer's morning Matsaganda, the daughter of Whebur 
Eaja, was tripping along the bank of a beautiful silvery lake, clear as 
crystal. As she sped along she admired the brightness of the 
scenery, and the flitting of the beautiful plumaged waterfowl, scarcely 
disturbed by her fairy feet. She was charmed with the mellow tints 
of the morning dawn, and the light murmurs of the soutliern breeze. 
Approaching day smiled in brightness, and happiness dwelt around. 
As she was listlessly musing on these beauties, suddenly there 
appeared before her a man of large and majestic appearance, and 
richly clad. Taking her tapering hand in his, he thus spoke: "I 
am Monassi Muni, lady ; thy loveliness has bound me your slave ; my 
heart is gone and with it happiness, unless you smile on me," The 
fair Matsaganda blushed and brightened at these words ; she hesitated 
to reply, she was indeed silent. Muni waited in impatient ecstacy ; at 
last he took her in his arms ; when breaking silence, she thus replied : 
"If thou be a god, darken this sequestered spot of my father's 
kingdom." Muni created mist. 

People nowadays only look on fog or mist as the product of the 
condensation of vapour in a calm atmosphere, and have no need to go 
into the supernatural for the cause of so simple a phenomenon. 

We have now finished our review of all the structures in cloudland 
which concern us Jhis evening ; we have seen the likeness to terrestrial 
objects that many nations have found in the sky ; we have sketched 
briefly the modern explanations of these same cloud-forms ; and we 
will now conclude with a few remarks on the difference in the attitude 
of mind induced by the ancient personification of every natural pheno- 
menon, and the modern way of looking at the same thing. 

We may notice that nature stories are of two kinds." The forms 
of clouds or appearances in the sky have furnished the imagery or 
suggested a simile in the first kind ;, while the latter are simply tales 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 109 

of human incident to account for a natural phenomenon on which the 
form of the cloud has had no influence. 

The legend of Maui, and all the fanciful cloud-names we have just 
described, are examples of the first kind of tale, while the story of 
Matsaganda is a typical specimen of the latter variety. 

The images that people see in the sky depend on their attitude of 
mind and on any exciting ideas that may be prevailing at the time. 
For instance, before the siege of Jerusalem chariot-wheels were seen 
in the sky. These of course were halos, which sometimes form very 
curious and complex circles near the sun. 

"When the Turks were driven from the gates of Vienna there was 
observed in the sky a crescent reversed, with a sword through the 
centre. This was evidently the fragment of the halo whose centre is 
directly over the observer, which was only bright enough to show just 
above the sun, with a so-called " sun-pillar " or streak of white light 
shooting upwards from the sun through the halo. The outside of the 
halo would be downwards, and therefore look like a crescent reversed; 
while the bright stripe of light would suggest a sword to fighting- 
men. 

Similarly the night before CuUoden, King George, with two 
courtiers, observed from Windsor battlements a cloud resembling a 
thistle upside down, with the dim shadowy outline of a Scotchman, 
with targe and claymore, falling backwards. 

And now coming nearer the present time, to the 22nd of September 
last, the St. Stephen^s Bevietv of London published the illustration I 
now show on the screen, together with the following letter : — 

" Dear Sir, — I venture to enclose a rough sketch from nature of an 
extraordinary appearance presented in the clouds this day — September 
16, 1887 — between twelve and one o'clock, and to my mind it seemed 
like the British lion suppressing the uncrowned Irish harp. The 
harp vanished, and in its place came a clearly defined head of a man 
with a beard under the paw of the lion, and behind was a crowned 
female head. This wonderful appearance was clearly defined in white 
clouds on grey Yours faithfully, 

E. M. HUTTON. 

Sept. 16, 1887. Luchie, North Berwick." 



110 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 



What kind of sky this would be I really cannot say, but it would 
have been very interesting to have seen a photograph of the cloud- 
forms. Most probably the sky was a shifting form of flat heavy 
striated sky, while the recent Jubilee and prevailing excitement about 
the Irish question suggested the similes to the observer's mind. 

Here is a curious photograph of a cloud-form taken by myself near 
Teneriffe, and reproduced most accurately by Mr. J. D. Cooper in 
Fig. 7. When taking it T cannot say I was looking much at the 




Fig. 7. — Clouds in the form of a one-eyed flying figure. 
From Teneriffe. 

shape, but was waiting with my hand on the shutter-trigger to give 
an instantaneous exposure to the plate when the sun was sufficiently 
behind the cloud; but everybody who has seen the picture says at 
once, — What a singular appearance of a flying figure ! The ball of 
the sun, just showing through the cloud, is the eye of the face which 
is seen in profile; while some of the cloud to the right may be taken 
either for wings or hair, according to fancy. Has not some similar 
imagery suggested the idea of a one-eyed Thor, and of many other 
one-eyed mythological characters ? 

But now let us turn to the disastrous influence, which the attitude 
of mind that personifies everything, has on human conduct and human 
development. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. Ill 

So long as cloudland was peopled with terrible beings and horrible 
monsters it necessarily followed that man was afraid of the creatures 
of his own imagination. 

If a man believes there is a being up in the clouds who throws 
thunderbolts about, it is but natural that he should be afraid of that 
being, just as he would be of some one stronger than himself who was 
throwing stones in ordinary life. 

These ideas would be intensified by familiarity with the productions 
of poets and painters. The poet deals in heroics, and the essence of 
his art is to embody and personify the manifestations of nature. The 
painter lives by inspiring awe and exaggerating mental emotions. If 
he paints a thunderbolt-throwing man, the hero must be colossal and 
above the strength of ordinary mortals ; while if he paints a storm at 
sea the waves must be mountainous, the sky must be more ominous 
than was ever seen in nature, and the men's faces must show terror. 

Aristophanes parodies the poetic attitude of mind in the following 
passage from his play called " The Clouds " : 

" Strepsiades. For this reason, then, they introduced into their 
verses ' the dreadful impetuosity of the lightning-whirling clouds,' 
and 'the locks of the hundred-headed Typho,' and ' the hard-blowing 
tempests,' and then ' aerial moist crooked-clawed birds floating in 
the air.' " 

And again : 

" Chorus. Eternal clouds ! let us raise into open sight our dewy 
clear-bright existence from the deep-sounding sea, our father, up to 
the crests of the wooded hills, whence we look down over the 
sacred land, nourishing its fruits, and over the rippling of the divine 
rivers." 

Now this is all poetic and very pretty, but the attitude of mind is 
bad, for this way of looking at things will never brace man up to 
conquering or utilizing the manifestations of nature. 

Let us therefore turn to modern science and see what attitude of 
mind is engendered by recent research. 

Meteorologists now consider that all cloud- forms are the product of 
the condensation of vapour-laden air under a very limited number of 



112 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

ways, and that the fundamental cloud-structures which we have just 
exhibited represent the result of these different conditions. 

The varieties of cloud-form and the mixture of structures are of 
course infinite, but still the delicate fibrous or hairy clouds, the lovely 
white fleeces on the blue sky, the mountainous rocky masses, and the 
curious drooping festoons of cloud, are all only the products of con- 
densation under different circumstances. 

The result of all modern research leads to the general conception 
that we live below a sea of air mixed with watery vapour ; and that 
the earth has a coating of that physical manifestation which is called 
electricity. This atmosphere is in a state of perpetual eddying, and 
occasionally some of this vaporous air is driven up into such cold high 
regions that the water is condensed, and the resulting cloud torn 
and rolled between conflicting currents. Sometimes the electrical 
coating is so disturbed that equilibrium can only be attained by the 
disruptive discharge of lightning. 

Meteorologists have classified the different kinds of atmospheric 
eddies; the names of cylones and anti-cyclones will be familiar to 
you all; and it is found that every different kind of eddy has a 
different cloud- structure associated with itself. 

The motive power for all this is of course the general circulation of 
the atmosphere, which may either develope great cyclones; small 
thunderstorms which do not affect the barometer ; or that peculiar 
long roll-like formation associated with what are called "line-thunder- 
storms." * 

Socrates and some other of the Greek philosophers seem to have 
had a suspicion that thunderstonns were of an eddying nature, but 
they arrived at this conclusion rather by guesswork than by observa- 
tion. We know it for certain now, as the result of laborious obser- 
vation on the surface and high-level winds which surround a thunder- 
storm. For instance, Aristophanes, in the play we have before 
quoted, introduces the following dialogue : — 

" Strepsiades. Tell me, who is it that thunders ? This makes 
me tremble. 

* Full details of these processes are given in the Author's book, Weatlier, 
International Scientific Series, No. 59. 



CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 113 

Socrates. These — the clouds — as they roll thunder. 

Strepsiades. In what way, you all-daring man ? 

Socrates. When they are full of water, and are compelled to be 
borne along, being necessarily precipitated when full of rain, then 
they fall heavily upon each other, and burst, and clap. 

Strepsiades. Who is it that compels them to be borne along ? 
Is it not Jupiter ? 

Socrates. By no means, but aetherial vortex. 

Strepsiades. It had escaped my notice that Jupiter did not 
exist, and that vortex now reigned in his stead. But you have 
taught me nothing, as yet, concerning the clap and the thunder." 

But poetry and art were too strong in ancient Athens for such 
advanced ideas. Socrates was poisoned, and the artists reigned 
supreme for 1500 years. 

Then our present knowledge of cloud-form and structure can be 
utilised to purposes of which the poets and painters never dreamt. 
Vinez has shown how the lie of the stripes of hairy cloud called 
" cocks'-tails " show the position of the dreaded vortex of a hurricane ; 
and with this knowledge a sailor can not only save his ship from 
danger, but sometimes even utilise the cyclone to help him on his 
course. Mr. C. Ley has shown how the lie of similar cloud stripes 
indicate the approach of an ordinary British gale. 

When we see a waterspout in the distance we do not think of a 
dragon and his tail, like the Chinese, but consider how to get out of its 
path or to break it up by firing guns. The whirlwind on the western 
prairies takes the specially intense form known as a tornado, and 
there the ingenuity of the American nation is exercised in the con- 
struction of tornado-proof houses. 

But the research that has led to these important discoveries has 
incidentally involved a process which powerfully alters the attitude 
of mind induced by the personifying stage of mental development. 

All research involves measurement. When a meteorologist sees an 
ominous mass of thundery cloud, he not only notes the direction in 
which the different layers are moving so as to gain some conception 
of the kind of vertical eddy that is associated with the storm, but 
he does more than this. He measures the height and thickness 



114 CLOUD-LAND IN FOLK-LORE AND IN SCIENCE. 

of the clouds, tries to calculate tlie electric potential necessary for 
lightning, records the depth and weight of water precipitated by the 
storm, and thereby learns that there are several distinct kinds of 
whirling air that produce thunderstorms. 

Contrast, therefore, ancient and modern thought. Our ancestors 
saw in a thunderstorm the conflict between a many-headed, hairy 
monster, with the sun, or with a being of superhuman strength and 
attributes, throwing lightning and thunderbolts about. Such an 
attitude of mind can only induce terror. 

Now, when we see a thunderstorm we might observe a wind coming 
from the W. overhead, while we were oppressed by a stuffy S.E. 
breeze; and note a squall from the S.W. with a velocity of sixty miles 
an hour just as the rain commenced. Then we might measure the 
height of the lower base of the clouds and find it not more than five 
thousand feet above the eai'th, while the rocky summits rise no less 
than fifteen thousand feet above the ground, and the rain-gauge might 
show that water to the depth of three inches fell out of these ten 
thousand feet of cloud. 

Fear and terror are unknown and almost inconceivable to a man 
who looks at nature from this point of view. 

But the moral effect of weighing and measuring is so great I 
should like to give you another illustration. 

Poets are fond of describing big waves ; they talk about mounting 
on them up to the heavens and then descending to the depths. 
Painters draw waves of impossible height and steepness, and the 
influence of both the artist and the poet is to exaggerate any natural 
fear at first seeing a big wave. 

But if you stand on a ship's deck with a couple of chronographs 
to measure the length and speed of the waves, you find that an 
exceptionally big wave is only four hundred feet long from crest to 
crest, and travelling at a rate of thirty-six miles an hour; while your 
aneroid shows that the height from trough to crest is only forty feet. 
Then, if you are mathematically inclined, you can calculate like our 
distinguished countryman the late Professor Rankine that the curve 
of wave shape is what is called a trochoid; that unless the crest 
breaks, a ship can ride safely over the highest sea. 



DORSET FOLK-LORE. 115 

Under such circumstances any idea of fear vanishes and the 
knowledge thus obtained can be utilized in designing ships that may 
laugh at waves. 

So that while the ancient frame of mind which personifies every- 
thing leads to vague terrors and diverts the intellect into the path of 
poetry and art, the modern frame of mind destroys all nervous fear of 
supernatural beings — the bogies and bugbears of our own imagination 
— and braces our minds up to conquer, to avoid, or to utilize nature. 

Modern science is not merely a catalogue of facts, but the means 
of building up that attitude of mind which raises man to a higher 
level instead of prostrating him before the creatures of his own 
imagination. 




DORSET FOLK-LORE. 

R. HENRY J. MOULE, of Dorchester, has Idndly sent me 
the following " Jottings." I venture to append a few com- 
ments thereon, pointing out, for the most part, where 
parallel superstitions are recorded in the earlier publi- 
cations of the Society. J. J- Foster. 

He says : " We Dorset are not without our odd beliefs and queer 
tales of past time. But most likely many of both are common to 
us and other shires. I can but jot down what comes to mind, leaving 
to others to pick and choose." 

" Pigeon feathers should never be used for beds. Folks die hard 
on them." 

[The old superstition that no one can die in a bed containing the 
feathers of pigeons or game-fowl can scarcely be called local, says Mr. 
Henderson in his Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties, p. 60. In 
Yorkshire the same is said of cock's feathers. The Russians consider 
the use of pigeon's feathers as sacrilegious, the dove being the emblem 



116 DORSET FOLK-LORE. 

of the Holy Spirit. It is, moreover, a Hindoo and a Maliomedan 
custom to lay a dying man on the ground. Cf. also Gregor's Folk- 
Lore of North-East of Scotland, p. 206; Mr. W. G. Black in Folh- 
Lore Record, vol. iv. p. 94, quotes some curious feather-charms, and 
their use around dishes and bowls set for the wandering dead to 
drink from, amongst the Pueblo people in New Mexico, which seem 
to have some connection with the subject.] 

" Comfrey is a capital cure, but I don't know what for, or in what 
form — a salve, I think. But you must mind to use the red-flowered 
sort for men, the white for women." 

[In Black's Folk- Medicine, pp. 108, et seq. will be found a great 
deal of curious information pointing to a very wide-spread superstition 
as to the use of red colours in sickness. Heucherus et Fabricius, De 
Vegetalibus Magicis, Wittenberg, 1700, is quoted to show that red 
flowers were given for disorders of the blood, and yellow for those of 
the liver. When the son of Edward II. was sick of small-pox, the 
bed-furniture, John of Gaddesden directed, should be red. The 
Emperor Francis I. when suffering from the same disease was rolled 
up in a scarlet cloth. So in Japan, when the children of the royal 
house were attacked by small-pox, the beds and walls were covered 
with red and the attendants clothed in scarlet. At the present day in 
China red cloth is worn in the pockets. Red is used liberally at the 
death of a New Zealand chief. In the West of Scotland red flannel 
is employed to ward off whooping-cough : and in Wales when the 
corpse-candles burn white the doomed person is a woman, but if the 
flame be red it is a man.] 

" Fairies come down the chimney and do a deal of harm if you don't 
stop them. The way to keep them out is to hang a bullock's heart in 
the chimney." 

[The use of the heart of animals and birds is a curious sub-division 
of witchcraft ; and, to quote Henderson alone, in the Folk-Lore of the 
Northern Counties will be found incantations connected with the hearts 
of pigeons, horses, cows, hens, sheep, and pigs to counteract a witch, 
and of a hare to torment a faithless lover, &c.] 



DORSET FOLKLORE. 117 

" The Dolmen on Blackdown is called the Hell-stone. Folks say 
that the devil chucked it across from Portland — nine miles or so." 

[It may not be out of place to observe that this interesting 
megalithic monument has been lately "restored" by Mr. Manfield, 
assisted by Mr. M. Tupper of " Proverbial " celebrity, who have re- 
arranged the stones (for there are seven in all, the largest being about 
eight feet square, of very hard conglomerate), according to their own 
sweet will ! 

Mr. Moule may have told us something about " The Devil's 
Night-cap," or Agglestone (Saxon, Halig-stan == Holy-stone). 

This is a block of ferruginous sandstone, nearly 17 feet high and 
35 feet in diameter, computed to weigh some 400 tons. It stands 
on a moor near Poole harbour ; and Dorset folk say that the devil, 
being one day seated on the Needles, " chucked " this stone at the 
towers of Corfe Castle, but it fell short, and has remained on the 
Purbeck heath to this day. Its name of " Night-cap," I may add, is 
probably derived from its shape, viz. an inverted cone. It is figured 
in Hutchins's Dorset.] 

" Folks say that no man ever saw a * winter-borne ' break. It is 
dry one day and running the next, but its first downpour was never 
beheld. Many years ago watch was kept day and night for a fort- 
night for the breaking of Winterborne Abbas stream. One night the 
watchman on duty found that his pipe had gone out. ' Bridehead-lodge 
— he bean't 'bove hundred or two yard — can't do any harm to get 
light there.' But in those three minutes the winter-borne broke 
unseen." 

[There are or were no less than seventeen villages in Dorset whose 
names are compounds of Winterbourne.] 

" Folks seem to have an odd belief in good luck coming with 
remnants of antiquity, judging from what a Dorchester antiquary 
tells me, and has recorded in the Archaeologia. Some years ago 
several metal objects were found buried in a Keltic earthwork. 
Among them was a curious little grotesque bull, with a quaint tail 
curled up, which makes it somewhat like a dog. My friend heard 
that these things were in the hands of a certain old woman, and 

Vol. 6.— Part 2. k 



118 DORSET FOLK-LORE. 

offered to buy them. ' Ha'nt got 'em — used to't — but there — 'twer 
loike this yer. My poor buoy — he wer turble bad, and he pined like 
a'ter they wold things. And ther — I thought myself how thick brass 
dog a noiil'd ovver door 'd do en a power o' good.' And ' noiil'd 
ovver door ' it was found." 

[This remarkable "find," which was made in Belbury Camp, near 
Higher Lytchett, Poole, is fully described in Archaeologia, vol. xlviii, 
pp. 1-6, where the objects are figured. Mr. Franks was of opinion 
that the ornamentation on the bull resembled Etruscan, but that the 
article itself "was late-Celtic." Its use as recently as 1881 as a 
prophylactic is surely an extremely interesting fact to students of 
folk-lore.] 

" There stood by the cross His mother. Now there grew on 
Calvary a green-leaved plant with flowers of deep azure blue, but the 
buds were red. St. Mary's eyes were as blue as the flowers, but with 
weeping her eyelids were as red as the buds. And as she wept the 
tears fell on the leaves and spotted them. And spotted they have 
been from generation to generation ever since, and the plant is grown 
in cottage gardens, and its name is Mary's Tears. But books call it 
Pulmonaria." 

[We are reminded in Black's Folk-Medicine that blue is the sky 
colour, the Druids' sacred colour, and the Virgin's colour ; but I find 
no reference to this beautiful legend in the above-named work, where 
one would expect to meet with it. Dorset, probably, does not possess 
a monopoly of it, and doubtless members will be able to furnish other 
examples.] 

" Folks hold to the belief that St. Austin's Well, hard by Cerne 
Abbas, still works wondrous cures. I have had a case told in all 
detail while sketching the lovely spring." 

Of course there are wishmg-wells everywhere, although few so 
clear and full as that at Upwey. But in St. Catherine's Chapel, high 
on a hill by Abbotsbury — one of the most interesting of fifteenth- 
century buildings in these parts, by the way — in St. Catherine's are 
wishing-holes. They are in the south doorway. You put your knee 
in one hole and your hands in two others, and wish" 



FOLK-LOKE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 119 

[As Mr. Moule has alluded to Cerne Abbas, I wish he had told us 
something of the remarkable Phallic superstition which attaches to 
the Cerne Giant, counterparts of which are to be found in Brittany 
and all over India to this day.] 



NOTES ON THE FOLK-LORE AND SOME SOCIAL 
CUSTOMS OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 

By Captain J. S. King. 

{Continued from vol. y.i^age 323.) 




II. — Marriage Customs at Zayla. 

\ HE town of Zayla (or Audal, as it is more usually called 
locally) is inhabited by three classes: (1) The original 
inhabitants of the town, who are called " Rer Audal," 
(2) Eesa Somal, (3) Gadabursi Somal. 
The Rer Audal are a community of half-castes, the offspring of 
Arab settlers who have intermarried with Somali, Habshi, or Dan- 
kali women. They speak both Arabic and Somali, but generally 
prefer the latter. Their marriage customs, which differ in many 
respects from those of the surrounding tribes, are worthy of notice. 

Girls are usually married at the age of fifteen or sixteen, and are 
selected for their personal charms, such as they are. 

When a man has fixed his choice on a girl he goes through the 
ceremony of asking her in marriage from her father or nearest male 
relative, to whom he presents $5 in cash and about five pounds of 
coffee-husks. The Kdzi and a number of the male relatives and 
friends of both parties are present, and after a long and generally 
very animated discussion the amount of dafa or dowry to be paid to 

k2 



120 FOLK-LORE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 

the girl's father is settled ; it is seldom less than $100, and some- 
times amounts to $700 or $800. 

These arrangements being concluded, the proposer is entitled (on 
payment of $5 each time) to private interviews with his fiancee, to 
enable him by a closer inspection to judge better of her personal 
charms. But it frequently happens that the man squanders all his 
money on these " interviews " before paying the dafa agreed upon. 
The girl then (at her parents' instigation) breaks off the match, and 
her father, when expostulated with, replies that he will not force his 
daughter's inclinations. 

Hence arise innumerable breach of promise of marriage suits, in 
which the man is invariably the plaintiff. 

I have known instances of a girl being betrothed to three or four 
different men in about a year's time, the father receiving a certain 
amount of dafa from each suitor. But I am now supposing that the 
course of love has run smoothly, and the marriage takes place as 
originally arranged. 

Before all things it is necessary for the bridegroom to provide a 
perfectly new ^dnsh, or hut, for the accommodation of his bride. If 
the bridegroom is a popular man the erection of the hut costs him 
little beyond the actual price of the materials used, as his friends 
volunteer their services in constructing it. The bridegroom regales 
them with coffee (or rather a concoction of coffee-husks) and tobacco 
prepared for chewing. They sing merrily over their work ; and, as 
they place the thatch on the roof, compose impromptu verses con- 
taining witty and flattering allusions to the happy couple about to 
occupy the hut. The bride's relatives supply coloured mats for lining 
the inside of the hut, and also supply a few household utensils. The 
bride always makes with her own hands a handsome coloured sleeping- 
mat to cover the nuptial couch. 

Dancing and singing, accompanied by hand-clapping in lieu of 
musical instruments, is kept up at the bridegroom's house for about 
a fortnight. 

On the day fixed for the removal of the bride to her new home she 
is escorted to it from her father's house by a large party of young 
men and maidens, the latter dressed in their best clothes, and having 



FOLK-LORE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 121 

their tightly-plaited and well-oiled hair tastefully decorated with 
cowries, coloured beads, and flowers (when procurable). As the pro- 
cession moves slowly through the streets the young men and maidens 
dance in front of the bride, and make a deafening noise with their 
singing and hand-clapping, while the married women express their 
approval by a shrill, quavering noise from the back part of the 
throat. 

On reaching the bridegroom's house a low-caste man sacrifices a 
goat or sheep on the threshold, and the bride steps over it as she 
enters. 

On the same day, about 4 p.m., the bridegroom, clad in handsome 
silk garments, liis head, clean shaved, bound up in a large silk 
turban, repairs to a masjid, where he is supposed to remain at his 
devotions till about 7'30 p.m., when he is escorted by a number of 
young men to his house, which the bride has previously entered. As 
the bridegroom enters another goat is sacrificed, and he steps over it 
in the same way as the bride. 

The wedded couple now shut themselves up in the nuptial chamber, 
which is sometimes an upper room with a rude ladder leading to it, 
but more often a small dark room partitioned off from the rest of the 
house. An elderly woman of low caste is generally shut up with them 
for a short time. Dancing and singing continue in the " compound," 
while in the house itself assemble seven unmarried young men and 
the same number of maidens (called manheis), friends of the bride 
and bridegroom. When they hear any cries from the nuptial chamber 
they commence singing and clapping their hands as loudly as pos- 
sible. Over the seven couples of manheis a man entitled " Sheikhu- 
1-Manheis," or " Sheikhu-sh-Shubdn," is nominated. He portions 
off a girl to each young man, and performs a mock marriage between 
them. Each girl is bound to obey without murmur any order which 
her mock husband may give. He may say : ''Give me a drink of 
water," and she immediately fetches a vessel of water ; and if he be 
lying down she raises him up in her arms, as though he were an 
invalid, and puts the vessel to his lips. Another may order his bride 
to give him tobacco to chew, upon which she grinds up some tobacco- 



122 FOLK-LORE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 

leaf with wood-ashes, and mixing it in the palm of her hand, places it 
in her lord's mouth. Then the Sheikh u-1-Manheis sings : 

" 'Aroso ! Hobale ! Hobale! Kaimahi zabi slJcJib, sa'at." 

*' Come ! brides and bridegrooms this instant," and then gives 
various absurd orders to each couple, such as, " Fetch a live fish from 
the sea," or " Fetch a live lizard, a live flea," &c. 

The couples start off in search of the articles which they have been 
ordered to produce. If they return to the house without obtaining 
the object of their search, they are put sitting on the ground, back to 
back, and their arms tied tightly together ; they are then rolled over 
from side to side, and water sprinkled over them. 

This sort of amusement continues for about seven days, with varia- 
tions. Sometimes the males and females exchange dresses — each 
man becoming a woman, and each girl a man. The girls dress up 
their partners, using padding to make the disguise as complete as 
possible ; and then, assuming all the airs of husbands, they flog their 
partners with horsewhips, and order them about in the same manner 
as they themselves had been treated by the young men. 

On the morning after the marriage, the husband on rising gives 
his bride a present of from ten to twenty dollars, according to his 
means. During the space of a week he remains with his espoused, 
scarcely ever venturing out of the house, and rarely showing himself 
even at the dancing which goes on in the compound. 

When the seven days have expired, the bridegroom presents to the 
" Sheikhu-1-Manheis " a dollar and a waist-cloth, and a dollar to each 
of the young men. The bride gives a dollar to each of the girls. 

III. — Marriage Customs of the Eesa and Gadabursi Tribes 

OF THE SOMAL. 

The marriage customs of the Eesa and Gadabursi diff'er in many 
respects from those just described. 

Girls are usually married between the ages of fifteen and twenty : 
they are often chosen by men of a different tribe, in order to obtain 



FOLK-LORE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES 123 

immunity from the blood-feud, or for some other political reasons ; 
and in such cases the bride is rarely consulted. Love matches, how- 
ever, are by no means uncommon : drawing water from the well and 
tending cattle in the jungle afford opportunities for frequent tete-a- 
tetes, often continued for some months without the knowledge of the 
girl's relatives. Having made his choice, the man makes a formal 
demand for the girl's hand in marriage from her father or nearest 
male relative. If the offer be accepted, the proposer gives his future 
father-in-law two spears, a shield, a water-bottle (wetsu), a prayer- 
skin (musalla), and a rosary (tasbih). The amount of dafa to be 
given to the girl's father is then fixed : it varies from ten to a hundred 
she-camels giving milk. If the man does not possess the required 
number of camels or cattle, he proceeds to loot them from some sub- 
tribe inferior to his own, or perhaps steals them from some of his own 
relatives. 

Three months in the year, viz. Jumadu-1-Awwal, Jumadu-1-AMir, 
and Rajab (in Somali — Rajal Dehe, Rajal Dambe, and Saboh), being 
considered inauspicious, no marriage ever takes place then. This 
appears to be another remnant of Pagan superstition. 

Before the marriage the bridegroom employs a fortune-teller to 
read his fdl, or fortune, by means of the rosary — what particular day 
and hour will be auspicious for the marriage, and whether he will 
have good luck or the reverse in his married life. 

The marriage formula is recited by a Mdhi, a pilgrim (Ilajji), or 
any man with a little education. If none such be procurable, the 
bridegroom simply cuts a branch from an acacia or any thorny tree, 
and hangs it up in the nuptial gun (hut) provided by the bride's 
relatives. He then fetches her from her father's hut, accompanied by 
a crowd of young men and maidens dancing and singing. On reaching 
the new hut, the bride holds a goat or sheep in the doorway, while 
the bridegroom cuts its throat in the orthodox manner with his 
jambia (long knife). The bride dips her finger in the blood, smears 
it on her forehead, and ties a strip of the goat's skin round one wrist ; 
and then enters the gui-i, stepping over the blood. The bridegroom 
follows her, also stepping over the blood, and is accompanied by some 
of his nearest male relatives. 



124 FOLK-LORE OF THE WESTERN SOMALI TRIBES. 

The first act of the bridegroom on entering the hut is to take a 
horsewhip (jSdal) made entirely of leather, and with it inflict three 
severe blows upon the fair person of his bride, with the view of taming 
any lurking propensity to shrewishness.* His example is followed 
by his male relatives, who by this act obtain ever afterwards peculiar 
rights and power over the bride, which her husband dare not dispute. 
If she cries out in the least, or even flinches under the chastisement, 
she is ridiculed and despised by the village community. 

All then leave the hut except the bride and bridegroom, and two of 
the male relatives of the latter, whose duty it is to hold the girl down 
while the husband performs the operation of defibulation with a knife, 
her cries being drowned by four girls who dance and sing immediately 
outside the hut. 

The happy pair are then left to themselves, while dancing and 
singing are kept up in the kraal for the greater part of the night. 

In the morning the bride's female relations bring presents of milk, 
and are accompanied by a young male child whose parents are living. 
The child drinks some of the milk before any one else tastes it ; and 
after him the bridegroom, if his parents are living ; but if one or both 
of his parents are dead, and those of the bi'ide living, she drinks after 
the child. By doing this they believe that if the newly-married 
woman bears a child the father will be alive at the time. 

After an irregular marriage ceremony of this kind, if the woman 
shows signs of approaching maternity, the husband takes a pearl or 
bead of some kind from his wife's necklace, and travels in search of a 
kcidhi, to whom he presents the pearl, thus insuring the legitimacy of 
the offspring. 

The mother-in-law is never allowed to interfere in the domestic 
affairs of her daughter ; and she dare not — without risk of a broken 
head — enter the hut while her son-in-law is present. 

If the wife dies, leaving unmarried sisters, the widower is bound to 

* A similar custom seems to have prevailed among the ancient Muscovites. 
Barclay, an early English traveller in Eussia, speaking of the women of 
the country says: — "They don't think their Husbands love them unless 
they give them now and then reall Proofs of it, by giving them a good 
Cudgelling," 



THE TREASURE ON THE DRIM. 125 

marry one of tliem ; and if the father refuses to give him another of 
his daughters, the widower can claim a refund of the dafa which he 
paid at the time of his marriage. It is also usual for a man to marry 
his brother's relict. 

While on the subject of matrimony, it may not be out of place 
to mention a fact noticed by Darwin in his " Expression of the 
Emotions," viz. that kissing is unknown throughout the Somali 
country. Burton, too, in his book on Zanzibar, says : — " Yet even 
amongst the Somal, if you attempt to salute a woman — supposing 
that you have the right — she will draw back in horror from the act 
of incipient cannibalism." Still there is a word (dunhad) in their 
language to express the word " kiss." 

There are one or two other interesting Somali customs which I 
should like to describe, but I fear they are too physiological for the 
Folk-Lore Society. 




THE TREASURE ON THE DRIM. 

HE following story was narrated by John Williams, 
collier, of Tavern-y Banwen, near Neath, on the 26th 
June last, to Mr. Llywarch Keynolds, of Merthyr Tydfil, 
Mr. David Lewis, barrister-at-law, and myself. It was 
told in Welsh, and copious notes were taken on the spot by Mr. Lewis, 
who afterwards read them over again to me. Mr. Lewis has also 
kindly compared the following (which was written the next morning 
from memory) with the notes in question, and corrected it by them. 

There was a conjurer living at Ystradgynlais [a parish in Breck- 
nockshire, at the top of the Swansea Valley] who had an iron hand ; 
and there was a rumour that a lot of money was lying hid on the 
Drim [a mountain on the south-eastern side of the valley]. This 



126 THE TREASURE ON THE DRIM. 

conjurer said, if he could get a man to abide with him on the Drim 
the whole of a night he would get the money. John Gethin was a 
man of spirit, and he said he would abide with him. So the conjurer 
took John up to the Drim ; and he took his conjuring books and a 
bit of a candle. And he drew two rings like the figure of 8 ; and there 
was John Gethin standing in one ring and the conjurer in the other 
ring. And the conjurer told John that whatever came he was not to 
be frightened, nor to step outside the ring. Then he lit his candle, 
and busied himself with his books, and began to read. Then there 
was a row ; and first of all a great fiery bull came at John Gethin 
like a thunderbolt {fel ergyd ) ; but John stood that time, and the 
bull vanished. Then there came a great wheel of fire like a fly-wheel, 
rolling along towards John Gethin ; and John stepped aside to get 
out of its way, and he stepped outside the ring. This broke the 
charm. Then the devil (^gwr drwg) got hold of John, and began to 
take him off. But the conjurer caught him ; and there was the devil 
pulling John Gethin on one side and the conjurer pulling him on 
the other side. The devil had nearly got him away, when the con- 
jurer said to the devil : — " Hold on ! Let me keep John Gethin 
while this candle lasts." Then the devil let go John Gethin ; and 
the conjurer blew out the candle, and gave it to John Gethin ; and 
he took it home, and put it in a cool place. And he was very ill ; 
and the candle kept on wasting, though it was not lighted. And 
John Gethin never got better, but worse and worse, until he died ; 
and when he died the candle was found to be all gone too. And 
John Gethin's body vanished, so that they could not find it; and they 
filled his coffin with clay, and buried it. This is true, because the 
conjurer's books are there in a coffer in "Waungynlais to this day. 

I sent the foregoing to Mr. Howel Walters of Ystradgynlais, a 
gentleman who is intimately acquainted with the history and legends 
of the neighbourhood, and inquired whether he knew the tale. In 
reply he was kind enough to send me the following as the version 
current at Ystradgynlais. It differs in so many respects from the 
story as told by John Williams that I give it in its entirety. Mr. 
Walters assures me that it is firmly believed in the parish. 

There was a conjurer living at Ystradgynlais the beginning of the 



THE TREASURE ON THE DRIM. 127 

present century, who had an iron hand ; and there is an old tradition 
that a treasure is hidden at the Garngoch, the highest point of the 
Drim mountain. The " Iron-hand " conjurer made the acquaintance 
of one John Gething, a farmer's son, who lived at Werngynlais farm, 
and gave him some books to study, with a view of teaching him the 
black art. John is reported to have made great progress in a short 
time; and, being a very courageous man, his teacher was able to per- 
form in his presence many things which few mortals can withstand. 
One day John Gething was working at the hay on his father's farm, 
when two men appeared before him. John said to them, " Hei ! " 
And one of the men said to him: " Well, is it for thee that thou hast 
spoken ! Thou must come with us to the Garngoch to seek the 
hidden treasure." John went, and on the way he found out that he 
who spoke to him was his old teacher; but the other being disap- 
peared, and John never saw him again. On arriving at Garngoch the 
conjurer told John that he was not, on the peril of his life, to divulge 
anything that he would see or hear that night on the top of Garngoch. 
When night came on the conjurer opened his books, lit a candle, and 
began to read, with strict injunctions to John not to be afraid of any- 
thing he saw. While the conjuror read spirits appeared and sur- 
rounded them with great noise ; and then great light shone on 
Garngoch, and John saw three pots full of gold. Nothing more 
happened that night ; but the conjurer gave John strict instructions 
to meet him there another night which he named. When the 
appointed night came John met him to time. The first thing done 
by the conjurer this night, after giving John the same instructions as 
on the previous night, and that he was not to be frightened, was to 
make two rings joined like the figure 8. John stood in one ring and 
the conjurer in the other, and neither of them was to step out of the 
ring, or fear, at the risk of losing their lives or being carried away by 
the devil! The conjurer lit his candle and began to read his books • 
and the spirits appeared with great noise. Then came a fiery bull 
and ran at John Gething ; but John stood in the ring fearlessly, and 
the bull and all the evil spirits vanished. The conjurer was very 
pleased with John Gething's courage, and told him one night more 
would be sufficient for them to fight against the spirits to secure all 



128 THE TREASURE ON THE DRIM. 

the hidden treasure and gold he had seen on the first night. The 
conjurer, before leaving, told John on what night he was to meet him 
again. On the third night the conjurer had brought more books, and 
told John before he opened them that it was a matter of life or death 
to him how he acted that night, that terrible things would appear, but 
there would be no harm if he stood fearlessly, and did not move out 
of the ring; but first he must have a drop of John's blood to give to 
the devil to satisfy him before the spirits appeared, and John gave a 
drop of his blood to the conjurer to give to the devil. The conjurer 
then made two rings as before, lit his candle, and began to read his 
books. The spirits came with greater noise than before, and sur- 
rounded them, and a large wheel of fire came towards the ring in 
which John Gethin stood, and John was so frightened that he 
stepped out of the ring. The devil immediately took hold of him, 
and was going to carry him away in such a terrible storm and heavy 
rains as no one before witnessed in the district, but the conjurer 
implored him not to kill John, as he had displayed such courage 
before ; and there was a hard fight between the devil and the conjurer 
for John's life, and the devil at last gave in, and permitted John to 
live as long as the candle lasted which the conjurer had to read his 
books, and the devil told them that neither of them should ever have 
the hidden treasure, but a virgin not yet born would some day own 
the same. The conjuror gave John Gething the candle, and told him 
not to light it, but to keep it in a cool place. John did so, but the 
candle wasted, though it was never lighted, and John Gething from 
that night became ill, and worse and worse, until he died. The candle 
also was found to have wasted completely at the time of his death. 
During John's illness several doctors attended upon him, but no one 
understood the cause of his sufferings or death, except a few persons 
to whom he divulged what had transpired on the Garngoch. John 
was buried at Ystradgynlais church. E. Sidney Hartland. 



129 




FOLK-LOEE OF THE FEROE ISLANDS. 

[Reprinted from Landt's Bescription of the Feroe Islands, 1810.] 

WEDDING-DRESS consists of a fine blue, and some- 
times red jacket, called stakkur, somewhat short in the 
body, with long round skirts formed into many small 
folds or plaits. The sleeves, which reach to the wrists, 
are ornamented with small black velvet cuffs, and to the extremities 
are sown broad lace ruffles, which are folded back on the cuffs. 
Around the neck the bride wears a fine white handkerchief, with 
broad lace at the edges. On the breast is fastened a large silver pin, 
from which is suspended by one corner a square plate of the same 
metal about four inches wide. This plate is furnished with a great 
many projecting rings or hooks, from which hang abundance of silver 
spangles that on the least motion glitter and make a rattling noise. 
Around the middle is a girdle of red velvet, interspersed with silver 
figures and fastened^ before with a silver buckle ; but one end of the 
girdle hangs down over the skirts of the jacket. The hair is formed 
into two braids, which are folded round the head, and above them are 
placed a small roll or fillet ornamented with ribbons, either of different 
colours or interwoven with gold and silver, which are entwined and 
fastened to each other in a great many knots and figures to the height 
of about two or three inches. To the back part of this fillet are 
fastened four broad ribbons, often interwoven with gold and silver or 
covered with various ornaments : of these four ribbons, each of which 
is about eighteen inches in length, two are suffered to hang down the 
back; but the other two are drawn forwards and fastened in such a 
manner as to hang down on the breast. (If the bride be a widow or 
with child before marriage, she must wear below the fillet a cap of red 
velvet or cloth, which stands somewhat upwards in order to cover the 



130 FOLK-LORE OF THE FEROE ISLANDS. 

back part of her head, but without the ribbons that hang down on 
the back and breast.) — (P. 280.) 

Sometimes a young man in Feroe endeavours to gain the afifection 
of a young woman without communicating his intentions to any of his 
friends ; but as soon as he obtains the young woman's consent he no 
longer thinks concealment necessary. If he proves unfortunate in his 
suit, has no means of access to the object of his love, or is unacquainted 
with her parents, he employs the intervention of some respectable 
person, who makes the proposal in his name. This confidential friend 
waits upon the young woman and her parents, acquaints them with 
the young man's intention, and receives their answer. If the offer be 
rejected nothing more is to be done, and the suitor must direct his 
views to some other quarter ; but if no objections are made by any of 
the parties, the lover repairs a week after to the house of the young 
woman with his high hat on his head, and his wooing-staff in his 
hand, as a signal of his errand. Persons of higher rank celebrate 
their weddings at any period of the year they think proper; but the 
common people marry only in the autumn, which is their slaughtering- 
time. The bridegroom has two men, who are generally selected from the 
most respectable of his friends, and whose duty is to accompany him 
to and from church, and to dress and undress him. The bride has 
also two bride-maidens, who dress her, and who, during the ceremony, 
stand behind her and the bridegroom ; she has also two young men 
called loyasvoynar, that is, leaders, who, each laying hold of an arm, 
accompany her to the church, hand her into her pew, and when the 
service is over attend her in the same manner back to the house 
where the wedding is celebrated. The bridegroom first repairs to the 
church, with all his male attendants walking in pairs; and then the 
bride, who, however, is preceded by a company of bride-girls (stoylar), 
all neatly dressed and ornamented, who arrange themselves in a row 
in the passage before the pew appropriated for her, where they remain 
standing till she and her maids have passed them. During the cere- 
mony a great many candles are placed on the altar; and when it is 
ended, which is generally in the afternoon, the company return. 
After the new-married pair have received a congratulatory kiss from 
each of the guests, they all sit down to a dinner, which consists of 



FOLK-LORE OF THE FEROE ISLANDS. 131 

soup, made with beef, or lamb ; roast beef cr lamb, succeeded by rice- 
soup, plum-tarts, and a kind of fritters without apples; and on such 
occasions there is always a plentiful supply of brandy and ale, which 
is handed about by cup-bearers. When the dinner is over, and a 
thanksgiving hymn sung, the apartment is made ready for dancing. 
The bride and bridegroom, with the whole company, form themselves 
into a circle, and, joining hands, dance round in cadence, towards the 
left side, to the sound of a nuptial song, which is sung by all the 
dancers in full chorus. If the apartment is not large enough to admit 
the whole company to make one circle, they form themselves into two 
or more concentric circles. 

When the evening has been spent in dancing, the cup-bearers enter, 
and, giving a loud thump on one of the beams, summon the bride- 
groom to bed for the first time : half-an-hour after they give a second 
thump, and summon the bride to bed : this ceremony is repeated, and 
aftei-wards the bridegroom is summoned to bed for the last time. The 
bride is conducted first to bed, in which she lies down half undressed, 
and on this occasion she sheds a few tears. The same ceremony is 
observed in regard to the bridegroom, who however lies down without 
dropping any tears. When both are in bed a couple of psalms are 
sung in most places, and the evening prayers read, after which the 
company retire, and continue their dancing as long as they think 
proper. Next morning the wedded pair receive in bed presents from 
the guests, which generally amount to one or two crowns ; and a glass 
of wine, or brandy is given to each person present. The whole of the 
day is spent in feasting and dancing; but after dinner one of the most 
ingenious of the guests brings in a rump of roast beef, part of the cow 
killed for the wedding, the tail of which, adhering to it,, is bent up- 
wards and ornamented with ribbons; but the whole piece sometimes is 
decorated with painted or gilt paper : it is introduced with a poetical 
oration, the subject of which is a panegyric on the dish; and some- 
times the fate and history of the cow is detailed in this speech. The 
vessel containing the dish is placed at the upper end of the table, 
where it is handed from the one to the other, each of the company, 
if they choose, giving vent at the same time to some witty and 



132 FOLK-LORE OF THE FEROE ISLANDS. 

extempore effusion in verse, which either contains some trait of satire, 
or is calculated to excite a roar of laughter. — (Pp. 403-407.) 

The people of Feroe have so-called hulde-folk, who reside in the 
fields ; are of large stature, wear a grey dress, and on their 
heads black hats. These beings possess large fat cows and sheep, 
and also dogs ; which, though invisible, are sometimes, but very 
seldom, seen by the inhabitants. They are fond of Christian women 
as well as of children, and often carry the latter away, leaving their 
own in their stead. Nikar is a supposed being which resides in the 
fresh waters or lakes, drags people into them, and drowns them. 
Niagruisar (hobgoblins) are small beings in the human form, with red 
caps on their heads which bring good fortune to the place where they 
have taken up their abode. Vattrar are good beings, which reside for 
the most part in churchyards. Marra lie upon people when asleep, 
and almost suffocate them ; but if they are able to pronounce the 
name of Jesus they immediately betake themselves to flight; they 
may be driven away also by keeping a knife in the house, and by 
repeating certain words which I do not at present remember. In the 
seventeenth century, when Debes wrote his Feroa Uesarata, several 
of the inhabitants had been carried away by these evil spirits, some 
of whom never appeared, but the greater part of them were again 
found, or returned home of their own accord. People may be carried 
away in this manner either by these evil spirits or by Satan him- 
self. In the course of the last century these islands were pretty free 
from such terrible events, but not entirely ; for when I left Feroe 
there was still living in Osteroe a man little more than forty years of 
age, who, when a child about three years old, was carried away from 
his father's house, without any one knowing whither, or in what 
manner ; but after a search of two days the child was found asleep on 
a rock, at the distance of about two miles from its home. This cir- 
cumstance is confirmed by the testimony of many persons now living; 
but it is not known what kind of a spirit could have carried this child 
to such a distance from the place of its residence. 

Witches sometimes think proper to ride on the backs of the cows, 
which produce in them a disease called trolri. And when a cow has 



FOLK-LORE OF THE FEROE ISLANDS. 133 

calved various superstitious means are practised, by plucking the hair 
from the tail, moving a light round the horns, or on the hoofs ; and 
when the animal is milked for the first time a small wooden cross, a 
knife, a white mussel-shell, and a nut or bean called quitnnuyra, must 
be previously placed in the milking-pail.— (P. 401.) 

As a cure for disorder of the heart, the people of Feroe drink the 
water in which the upright fir-moss {lycopodium selagd) has been 
boiled. 

Cure for " the stone.'^ — A stone which has been voided by a 
woman, pulverised and mixed with water, is considered as a cure for a 
man, and vice versa. 

The jaundice may be cured by drinking water in which an eagle's 
claw has been steeped, and to eat the broth in which a yellow-legged 
hen has been boiled. The sanitive quality is here ascribed to the 
yellow legs, 

Gyo, a swelling and stifness of the wrist. — To cure this the natives 
employ certain superstitious practices, holding the diseased part over 
hot ashes and repeating certain words. 

Quropit, violent pain or smarting. — This is cured by holding the 
place of the body in which the pain is felt over a vessel or tub filled 
with water, in which any piece of gold, handed down from father to 
son in the family, such as money or rings, has been boiled : and the 
diseased limb is covered with a cloth. 

A disease consisting of small bladders which suddenly make their 
appearance on the body may be cured by bathing them in a decoction 
of ground liverwort {lichen caninus), pulled with gloves on either at 
sunset or when the sun is below the horizon. 

Olvar-eld is cured by fumigating the part with conferva, first dried 
a little, and then placed on burning coals. — (Pp. 409-411.) 



K1 



Vol. 6. — Part 2. 



134 




EAJA DONAN: A MALAY FAIRY-TALE. 

N the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic 
Society Mr. W. E. Maxwell gives the following story, 
never before printed, as taken down from the lips of Mir 
Hassan, a Malay: — 
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Mandi Angin, there reigned 
a certain King Raja Besar, whose wife was the Princess Lindongan 
Bulan. He was blessed in every way that the gods bless mortals, 
except in one respect, which was that he had no son and heir. By 
constant prayers and the giving of alms, at length when the king had 
reigned nearly eight years, there was a prospect of Raja Besar's 
happiness being completed. All the astrologers were summoned to 
tell whether the child would be male or female, and what was the lot 
in store for it. The astrologers, having for a long time continued 
their incantations, at length perceived that the expected child would 
be a prince, and that he would be gifted with extraordinary qualities. 
But the astrologers hated the king, and so they did not tell him the 
truth, but told him that his child would be a prince who was fated to 
be a curse to all who would come in contact with him. 

Next day the king summoned an old astrologer who was both blind 
and deaf and infirm to tell the destinies of the child. The old man 
having pursued his divinations from sunset to sunrise, announced to 
the king that his son would be a highly-gifted prince, and that under 
him the kingdom would attain an unheard-of prosperity. " This is 
altogether different," said the king, " from the prognostication of the 
former soothsayers." " I am blind and deaf and of failing memory," 
said the old man, '* but in all things that concern the prince your 
highness may rely on what I say." At last, a terrible storm then 
raging, the princess gave birth to a son. The infant disappeared into 
the earth ; then he was vomited out again, seated on a cushion, and 



RAJA DON AN. 135 

with him a sword, a hen's egg, a swivel-gun, a flute, a piece of scented 
wood for burning, and some incense. The king, influenced by the 
opinion of the seven lying astrologers, directed that the child should 
at once be put into a rickety old boat and set adrift on the river. 
The princess wept on hearing what was to be the fate of her child, 
and directed her maids to put into the boat a basket full of clothes 
and another full of provisions for the child. This done, the boat was 
cast off amid the roaring of cannons which the king had ordered to 
be fired off for joy that evil had been averted from his kingdom. 

The king's elder brother, Bandahara Tua, was living some distance 
away, at the mouth of the river, and, hearing the cannons, he said, 
" Surely a prince has been born, and the king has believed the lying 
astrologers and cast his son away." He prayed that God would send 
his new-born nephew to him, and, after waiting a day and a night on 
the bank of the river, at last the little boat was wafted up to his very 
steps. The Bandahara went into the cabin to seek his nephew, and 
having found him he brought him on deck to take him to his house, 
but found that while he was below the boat had floated into mid- 
stream, and was being rapidly carried out to sea. Day and night for 
a year the boat went on, and at the end of that time the little cast- 
away, now able to talk, gave himself the name of Raja Donan. One 
day the Bandahara, at the request of his nephew, who said he felt a 
presentiment of approaching evil, climbed into the look-out place and 
carefully scanned the horizon, and at length sighted a great fleet of 
99 ships approaching them, whose masts were like a grove of cotton- 
trees. Raja Donan now prepared for the worst, and put on the magic 
garments which his mother had given him, and girded on the sword 
which was supematurally produced at the time of his birth. The fleet 
approached; it was that of Raja Chamar Lant, of Mundam Batu, who 
was on board the " Biduri," the largest of all. On sighting the little 
boat, Raja Chamar Lant ordered one of his galleys to be manned to 
see who was on board the stranger. This huge boat, carrying 44 
rowers, came alongside, and those on board it saw no one but a pretty 
child, who said that he came <' from the country of Mandi Angin, 
from the rice-fields where there are no embankments, from the waters 
where no fish are ever seen, a lonely place where the ape howls nightly, 

L 2 



136 RAJA DONAN. 

inhabited only by people who live on fern-shoots." The officers of 
the galley said that tribute must be paid to his master, or the little 
boat would be seized as a prize. Kaja Donan said he did not refuse 
to pay, but he should first ask the port-fire of his cannon and the 
blade of his sword, and if they answered that he should pay there was 
an end of the matter. With this answer the officer returned to his 
master, who at once ordered his men to fire and blow the little craft to 
pieces. For seven days and nights did the fleet keep up a terrible 
shower of ball from cannon and musket, and at the end of that time 
the order to cease firing was given. When the smoke cleared away, 
there stood the little boat, brighter than ever, and quite unhai-med. 
Raja Chamar Lant was furious. He would show his men how to 
shoot, and so he fired at Raja Donan's boat. But he did not harm it. 
Raja Donan now fired his little brass swivel-gun which was thrown 
out of the earth when he was born, and with the one shot he sunk the 
whole 99 ships, leaving only the "Biduri" afloat. His trusty craft bore 
him alongside the survivor. With a terrible shout he boarded it. 
For three days and nights, single handed, he kept up the battle with 
the warriors on board, and finally killed them all, the last being Raja 
Chamar Lant. 

The prince found in the cabin of the "Biduri" the younger sister of 
Raja Chamar Lant, who prayed him that he would kill her. He, 
however, soothed her with an account of his woes, and she agreed to 
go into his boat and remain with him. Raja Donan brought his prahu 
alongside with a wave of his turban, and, having got the princess into 
it, he then stepped in and sank the " Biduri " Che Amborg, as the 
princess was called, told Raja Donan that the reason she had left her 
beautiful home was that Petukal, a powerful raja, had asked for her 
in marriage, but her brother had taken her to sea to save her from 
Petukal, who was even now pursuing them. Raja Donan now prayed 
for a breeze that would bring them up to Petukal — a breeze " so 
strong as to be visible in a form resembling human shape, which 
would lay prostrate the cattle feeding in the fields, and sweep away 
the young cocoa-nuts growing in the court-yard." For seven days 
and seven nights they ran before the wind that sprang up, and on 
the eighth day, about noon, the fleet of Petukal, 99 ships in all, was 



RAJA DONAN. 137 

seen right ahead. Eaja Petukal, observing the new comer, sent off 
his eighty-oared galley to make inquiries. Raja Donan answered 
them as he had the officers of Raja Chamar Lant, and met their 
demand for tribute in the same way. In the same way Raja Petukal 
opened fire, and continued it for seven days and nights, at the end 
of which time he ordered the firing to cease. So dense was the smoke 
that it took three days to clear away, and then the little home of 
Raja Donan was seen to be quite untouched. Eaja Petukal, having, 
like Raja Chamar Lant, fired some of his guns with his own hand, 
had no better luck. Then Raja Donan with a single shot from his 
gnn sent the whole fleet, excepting the raja's vessel, to the bottom. 
Raja Donan boarded this, and slew all his enemies except their chief: 
with him he had a dreadful struggle. Once Raja Donan's sword 
shivered in his hand when he made a thrust at Raja Petukal, and 
before he could recover himself his opponent threw him overboard. 
His prayer to be put back again on deck was answered; and in the 
next struggle Raja Petukal was hurled into the sea, where he 
perished. 

Che Muda, a sister of Raja Petukal, was found in the cabin, and 
went with Raja Donan aboard his boat. Guided by the princesses, 
he sought the shores of the country in which resided the beautiful 
Princess Ganda Iran. He played his magic flute, and, though he was 
many miles away, his prayer was heard that the Princess Ganda Iran 
should be able to hear his music. She was enraptured, and despatched 
a kite to bear to the youth a cap made of beautiful flowers. The kite 
carried his message, and placed the cap in the hands of Rajah Donan, 
who in return sent three rings, one as a sign of betrothal, one to bind 
the promise, and one as a sign that whatever was undertaken would 
be successfully carried out, and a shawl as a sign of intimacy. When 
the kite had safely delivered the prince's message, the beautiful 
princess again despatched the bird with all kinds of sweetmeats, and 
in return the prince sent some other presents, telling tlie kite that 
they were setting out at once for the princess's palace. 

By the prayer of Raja Donan all the troops of Raja Chamar Lant 
and Raja Petukal were restored to life, and his little boat was turned 
into a magnificent palace. He called all the restored warriors toge- 



138 RAJA DON AN 

tber, and, putting chiefs over them, he set out on his journey on foot, 
taking with him his sword and his magic flute. When on his way, a 
certain princess, named Linggam Chahya, who resided in heaven, but 
came down often to the earth to amuse herself, met and fell in love 
with him, and sent her favourite bird to ask him to come to see her. 
He pleaded another appointment, but promised to come within three 
years, three months, and ten days. Disguised as a Semang, or wild 
hill-man, with all the skin diseases and sores which disfigure those 
people, he gained admittance to the Princess Ganda Iran. The raja, 
her father, forced him to play his magic flute, which when the 
princess heard she fell down, and was thought to be dead. Pre- 
parations were made for her funeral, and the Semang was promised 
her hand in marriage, and the sovereignty of the country if he 
restored her to life. He played his magic flute, and when he saw her 
coming back to life disappeared from the palace. The Semang could 
not be found, but in their search the officers of the raja met a pretty 
child by the road-side. Thoy brought him to the palace, where the 
princess took a great fancy to him. The child suddenly changed one 
day into Eaja Donan, a handsome young man, and the princess, 
having heard who he was, was exceedingly happy. Eaja Piakas, who 
had been affianced to the princess, being exceedingly jealous, on 
losing her, went to his home and begged his sister that she would 
help him to take revenge on the country of the Princess Ganda Iran. 
Now the sister of Eaja Piakas had power over all dragons, crocodiles, 
and all beasts of the earth. These she summoned from all parts of 
the world, and ordered them to invade the country of the princess who 
had injured her brother. The reptiles and animals advanced, doing 
immense mischief ; but at the prayer of Eaja Donan the sea rushed 
over the whole land and drowned all these creatures. Eaja Piakas 
then fitted out an expedition against his former friends, but he was 
slain in single combat by Eaja Donan. The magnanimous conqueror, 
however, brought him back to life, and married him to the princess 
Che Amborg. 

Eaja Donan now set off with his uncle and a large fleet to find his 
old home in Mandi Angin. After a long voyage they arrived at the 
well-known river, but found everything desolate, the palace gone, the 



THE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS OP THE MOORS OF CEYLON. 139 

cottages burnt. An old man told them that the king had been 
dethroned years ago by seven lying astrologers, who were living like 
rajas far up the river. Raja Donan found his parents occupying a 
poor hut in a wood ; but, having slain the lying astrologers, he put 
his parents on the throne again, and made Mandi Angin as pros- 
perous and peaceful as it had ever been. Having done this, Raja 
Donan sailed away to his kingdom, where he ever after dwelt in peace 
and happiness. He was absent for a short time, however, when he 
kept his word and visited the Princess Linggan Chahya in the 
heavens. 




THE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS OF THE 
MOORS OF CEYLON. 

T the meeting of the Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon 
Branch) Mr. Corbet read a paper upon " The Marriage 
Customs of the Moors of Ceylon," which, he said, had 
been written by Mr. Ahamadu Bawa, and which had been 
communicated to them by the author's son, Mr. P. W. Bawa. The 
paper commenced by remarking, if the pun might be excused, that 
matrimony amongst the Moors of Ceylon was merely a matter of 
money, love and courtship playing no part as factors in the great 
social institution. This fact was fully accounted for by the seclusion 
and ignorance in which the girls were brought up, the religious 
restrictions upon social intercourse between the sexes, and the total 
subjection of the youths of the community to their parents and 
guardians in all that related to matrimonial affairs. Among the 
Moors overtures of marriage invariably originated with the relatives 
of the prospective wife, the amount available as dowry and the caste 
of the lady being important points to start with. As a rule, a girl 



140 THE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS OP THE MOORS OF CEYLON. 

was considered eligible for marriage at twelve, and a boy at sixteen ; 
for at eighteen a girl was considered an old maid, and a bachelor at 
twenty-five was a rara avis But, as a consequence of the dowry 
system and the entire absence of anything like elopements or clandes- 
tine marriages, there was necessarily a very large proportion of old 
maids. If the intelligent men of the community would but reflect 
on the consequences of the pernicious dowry system, and the daily 
increasing misery its perpetration entails on the masses, they would 
surely endeavour to reform it. Among the wealthy families early 
marriages were the rule, and the matches were often made even before 
the girls had reached their teens. In all cases where eligible 
matchams, i.e. cousins or sons of mothers' brothers or fathers' sisters 
were available preference was accorded to them — almost as a matter 
of right. In the absence of any such, a young man of equal caste was 
fixed on, and negociations with his relations commenced. The paper 
then described these negociations, dwelling at length on the arrange- 
ments entered into with regard to dowry, and then proceeding to tell 
of all the feasts and ceremonies connected with a Moorish marriage. 
A deputation went to solicit Meera Lebbe as a husband of ** Aysha, 
the daughter of Hassim Marikar, their dear friend and near relative." 
Various panegyrics were passed, a rich feast followed, and the party 
dispersed. From this time a periodical exchange of presents kept 
the flame from dying out. There is yet another ceremony before the 
marriage, viz. the payment of " Seedanam," or dowry-money, which 
is a function of importance, and takes place some months in advance 
of the nuptials. The cash of the dowry alone goes to the husband, 
and enables him to meet the wedding expenses and to purchase the 
bride's trotisseau. On an auspicious day, after partaking of the usual 
Patchoru Paniarani, milk, rice, and cakes, a party of the bride's 
immediate friends, to the number of about seventy, attended by the 
family priest, or " Lebbe," and a brother or cousin of the bride carrying 
the seedanappanam of the sum agreed upon, with some betel-leaves 
and a lot of other things, proceed to the young man's house, where 
elaborate ceremonies are gone through. About ten days before the 
day fixed for the wedding the invitations are issued. The bridegroom, 
arrayed in his best and attended by a large party of friends, calls at 



THE MARRIAGE CUSTOMS OF THE MOORS OF CEYLON. 141 

every house of every Moor, high and low, within a radius of several 
miles, and invites its inmates of both sexes by calling out in sten- 
torian tones. On the wedding-day takes place the great feast at the 
bridegroom's house, called Mapulle iveetto paJcel choru. By midday 
all the invited guests from far and near have arrived and seated them- 
selves on the floor, tailor fashion, shoulder to shoulder, according to 
caste and condition. Water-basins are then passed round preparatory 
to eating. After the repast the guests leave with the remark to the 
effect " I will go and come again." The men all gone, the fair sex 
are entertained in a similar manner. In the afternoon a party goes 
to the bride's house, where they are received with much cordiality, and 
the bridegroom is presented with a ring. In the evening there is a 
fresh assembly of friends to do honour to the bridegroom and accom- 
pany him to the bride's, where the marriage-rites are to be solem- 
nized. In the presentation of the santosam the immediate friends of 
the bridegroom head the list with the highest sums — say fifty rupees 
— and then smaller sums follow. Thus sometimes R.IOOO have been 
collected in addition to rings of varying value presented by the rela- 
tives. While this is going on the bridegroom is supposed to be at 
his toilet, to the due performance of which a bath is essential. After 
this the party proceed to the bride's house in great state, on the way 
to which numerous ceremonies are gone through. At the house the 
koduttam or written record of the marriage is signed. The next 
function is kavin. The priest takes the bridegroom's right hand in 
his own and repeats a formula in Arabic three times, asking if the 
bridegroom is willing, to which of course he replies in the affirmative. 
The priest with two witnesses then enters the bridal-chamber, and 
similarly addresses the bride. After the conclusion of the ceremony 
the bride is conducted to the bridal - chamber by her father or 
brother, and the ceremony of tying the " tali" takes place, the "tali" 
being clasped round the throat, and never removed during the lifetime 
of the spouses. The " tali " being tied, the bridegroom is expected 
to " clothe " his bride. This consists of placing a silk kambaya round 
her waist. All this time the bride neither sees nor hears; and 
after the ceremony the bridegroom, sitting on the bed near by, has 
his first look at his future life-partner. The position is embarrassing, 



142 NOTES AND QUEEIES. 

as all eyes are fixed upon him. More feasting follows, and it is not till 
two o'clock in the morning that the bridegroom retires to the bridal- 
chamber for the night. Early next morning the married sisters and 
female cousins or nearest female relative of the bridegroom visit the 
bridal-chamber, and prepare its inmates for the bath, to which they 
are conducted under a white canopy, and, sitting side by side, are 
bathed. Then the newly-married couple feed each other. At night 
the bridegroom's family are invited to dinner at the bride's house, and 
the next night she and her family are similarly entertained at the 
bridegroom's. From this time feasts at intervals take place at the 
houses of the mutual friends over a period of some months, the happy 
couple living in Beena at least until the first child is born ; but if a 
part of the house has been given in dowry, the best room is appro- 
priated to them. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Terms used in Talking to Domestic Animals. — In controlHng 
the movements of domestic animals by the voice, besides words of 
ordinary import, man uses a variety of peculiar terms, calls, and inar- 
ticulate sounds —not to include whistling — which vary in different 
localities. In driving yoked cattle and harnessed horses teamsters cry 
" get up," " click click " (tongue against teeth), " gee," " haw," 
" whoa," " whoosh," " back," etc., in English-speaking countries ; 
" arre," " arri," " jiih," " gio," etc., in European countries. 

In the United States *' gee" directs the animals away from the 
driver, hence to the right, but in England the same term has the 
opposite effect, because the driver walks on the right-hand side of his 
team. In Virginia mule-drivers gee the animals with the cry *' hep- 
yee-ee-a"; in Norfolk, England, "whoosh-wo"; in France, "hue" 
and "huhaut"; in Germany "hott" and " hotte"; in some parts of 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 143 

Russia " haita " serves the same purpose. To direct animals to the 
left another series of terms is used. 

In calling cattle in the field the following cries are used in the 
localities given: "boss, boss" (Conn.); "sake, sake" (Conn.); 
" coo, coo " ( Va.) ; " sook, sook," also '' sookey " (Md.) ; " sookow " 
(Ala.) ; " tlon, tlon " (Russia) ; and for calling horses, " kope, kope " 
(Md. and Ala.); for calling sheep, " konanny " (Md.); for calling 
hogs " chee-oo-oo " (Va.) 

The undersigned is desirous of collecting words and expressions 
(oaths excepted) used in addressing domesticated animals in all parts 
of the British Empire. 

In particular he seeks information as to — 

(1) The terms used to start, hasten, haw, gee, back and stop 
horses, oxen, camels, and other animals in harness ; 

(2) Terms used for calHng in the field cattle, horses, mules, 
asses, camels, sheep, goats, swine, poultry, and other 
animals ; 

(3) Exclamations used in driving from the person domestic 
animals ; 

(4) Any expressions and inarticulate sounds used in addressing 
domestic animals for any purpose whatever (dogs and cats) ; 

(5) References to information in works of travel and general 
literature will be very welcome. 

Persons willing to collect and forward the above-mentioned data 
will confer great obligations on the writer; he is already indebted to 
many correspondents for kind replies to his appeal for the Counting-out 
Rhymes of Children, the results of which have been published in a 
volume with that title (Elliot Stock, London). 

To indicate the value of vowels in English please use the vowel- 
signs of Webster's Unabridged, and in cases of difficulty spell 
phonetically. 

All correspondence will be gratefully received, and materials used 
will be credited to the contributors. 

H. Carrington Bolton. 

University Club, New York City. 



144 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

An old Ballad. — Has the following ballad ever been printed, and 
if so where ? I heard it from a relative of Dr. Birkbeck Hill's, in 
whose family it is traditional. A young man on his way to the 
gallows appeals to his parents and brethren in the following terms : — 

" Hold up, hold up your hands so high, 

Hold up your hands so high, 
For I think I see my own mother coming o'er yonder stile to me. 

Oh mother hast thou any gold for me, 

Any money to buy me free, 
To save my body from the cold clay ground and my head from the gallows tree? " 

Mother, father, and brethren all refuse him aid:— 

" Oh no, I have no gold for thee, 
No money to buy thee free, 
For I have come to see thee hanged, and hanged thou shalt be." 

But his sweetheart is kinder and buys him off. At the end of each 
verse is the refrain— 

" Oh the briars, the prickly briars, 
They prick my heart full sore. 
If ever I get free 
From the gallows tree 
I never get there any more." 

Alfred Nutt. 

Selling by Inch of Candle. — In relation to a very curious custom 
which is annually observed in the little village of Tatworth. near 
Chard, it would be interesting to learn whether a similar practice is 
carried out in any other part of this country. It appears that there 
is in the village referred to a certain piece of land, measuring six 
acres and one perch, which has no legal owner, but the owners of 
certain properties in the vicinity are recognised as entitled to share 
the annual value of it, which value is, however, as a rule, very small. 
Those who claim a right by virtue of property they hold meet yearly 
at the village inn to let the land for one year, and appoint a steward, 
whose duty it is to see that the proceeds are divided among those who 
claim rights. The most curious part of the matter is the manner in 
which the field is let. The meeting is styled a court, and is strictly 
private, no one save those interested being admitted to the room. 
The steward presides over the court, and an inch of tallow-candle is 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 145 

placed on the mantel-piece and lighted. The candle is supposed to 
act as auctioneer ; and, while it is burning, those who desire to rent 
the field bid in the same way as at an ordinary auction, and the last 
bidder before the candle goes out gets the field for the year ensuing 
at the price he has quoted. The steward pays each one interested his 
share of the rent of the field for the past year, and the rest of the 
evening is generally spent in conviviality. The letting took place the 
other evening, when the bidding was particularly spirited, and ulti- 
mately reached the high sum of 171. 10s., at which sum Mr. J. B. 
Payne secured the field. Last year it was let for 71. 10s., and the 
rent now given is said to be fabulous, as the land is very boggy and 
of very little value. This custom has been observed at Tatworth from 
time immemorial, and no one seems to know how it originated. 

Another instance of a sale by half-inch of candle, viz. a plot of 
land and cottage near the village of Chedzoy, known as " Church 
Acre," which is sold every twenty-one years at the Crown Inn, 
Chedzoy, during the time half-an-inch of candle takes to burn. The 
proceeds are devoted to church purposes. The last sale was in 1884, 
and the sum realised was spent in putting a new clock in the church 
tower. A. Hudd. 

Turning of the Looking-Glass (ante, p. 77). — A somewhat similar 
custom to that commented upon by H. K. in The Folk-Lore Journal 
of January — March, 1888, came under my notice in one of our Mid- 
land counties some years ago. 

When a young girl, I was taken up to the bedroom of an old 
maiden lady, a connection of my family, who was suffering from a 
slight attack of paralysis, brought on by a sudden fright, and from 
which she never entirely recovered, although she lived at least a year 
or two afterwards. 

At the time of my visit she was in a state of semi-consciousness, 
and I remember being doubtful whether she recognized me. I fancy 
her attendants considered her then at the point of death. I was 
much struck by seeing the looking-glass on the toilet-table opposite 
the bed covered with a large towel, and on inquiring the reason I was 



146 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

told that it was deemed unlucky that a sick person should see their 
face in a glass — a custom which appears more reasonable than that 
the looking-glass should be turned round or covered as a corpse is in 
the house — though this would seem perhaps to indicate that the sur- 
vivors are too absorbed in their grief to think of plaiting of hair or of 
adorning themselves. 

In Naples, in Spain, and in the island of Corfu, the church clocks 
and the time-pieces in the houses are stopped during Passion Week, 
or at least during the latter portion of it. In Spain, wooden clappers 
on the summit of the church towers are used instead of bells to 
summon the worshippers, and in Naples a small machine like the old 
watchman's rattle is adopted at that period to assemble the family to 
meals in place of the ordinary dinner-bell. 

H. G. M. Murray-Aynsley. 

Bees. — Mr. B. recently bought a straw skep of bees of Mr. D., 
whose wife died lately, and a few days afterwards, when his other 
bees were at work, he observed that those he had bought were not at 
work, so he turned the skep up to see the cause, and found the bees 
were dead. Upon telling this to several old people they all said they 
died because the master of the house did not go and tap three times 
at the hive and tell them the mistress was dead. One who is a bee- 
keeper said they died of starvation, but we find that that was not the 
cause, as there was between five and six pounds of honey in the hive. 
— Hertfordshire Mercury, 11th Feb. 1888. 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 

On February 12, Mr. Jeremiah Curtin read, before the Anthropo- 
logical Society of Washington, U.S.A., a paper of some interest on 
the folk-lore of Ireland. Last year Mr. Curtin went to Ireland for 
the express purpose of finding out how far the old " myths and tales" 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 147 

were still alive in the minds of the people. He visited some secluded 
parts of the western coast, and ''took down personally a large body 
of myths and stories, some very long, others not so long. This 
collection of materials," he says, " is sufficient to fill a couple of 12mo. 
volumes, and will give some idea of what yet remains in the Celtic 
mind of Ireland. It is, however, but a small part of the mental 
treasure still in possession of the people." 

At a recent meeting of the Wellington Philosophical Society of 
New Zealand Mr. E. Tregear read a most interesting paper on the 
" Origin of Fire in relation to Polynesian Folk-lore." The following 
is an abstract of it : — 

Mr. Tregear said that, in bringing forward the story of Maui's 
procuring fire for men, he had collated the different New Zealand 
versions with those to be found in the Polynesian Islands. The 
legends possessed, far more than any other of the Maori traditions, a 
verisimilitude and consistency which were astonishing — the names, 
incidents, &c., having been preserved through the long lapse of time 
(which must have elapsed since the dispersion of the Polynesian 
tribes) in a curiously complete manner. The Maori legend of the 
procuring fire from the old fire-goddess Mahuika had to be prefaced 
by that portion of the Maui story which related his power to become a 
bird at will, as this had an important bearing on the sister traditions. 
Keading the legend in Sir George Grey's work, and noticing briefly 
the story as told by Wohlers, White, and others, Mr. Tregear then 
passed on to the Samoan version, in which the fire-deity is a male 
personage with whom Maui has a personal encounter, but the hero 
achieves his object. With brief mention of the story as told at 
Tokelau, and by the natives of Savage Island, the 'paper then related 
the Karotongan tradition, one of much detail and value. The Mani- 
kiki legend difiers, in that the great Polynesian deity, Tangaroa, takes 
the place of Mahuika as fire-divinity. The version from Nukuhiva, in 
the Marquesas Islands, was last dealt with : a story of rugged simpli- 
city, but agreeing generally with the other stories. Mr. Tregear 
suggested that the scene being laid in Hawaiki appeared to give great 
age to the legends, and that, as the pathway was always downward 



148 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

into the bowels of the earth in order to reach this under-world, it was 
probable that the ancestors of the Polynesians had acquaintance with 
natural fire drawn from volcanic sources; but that Maui's gift, like 
that of Prometheus, was the art of procuring fii-e by friction. Maui's 
birth and parentage were then considered ; the difficulties in the 
parent-names, &c., compared one with the other, ,and the suggestion 
made that probably place-names, personified as myth, might account 
for some of the discrepancies. The assumption of the dove-form and 
hawk-form by Maui was consistent with the belief current in the 
ancient world as to the shapes assumed by divinities, and especially 
by solar deities. The '' seed of fire," an expression used in the tradi- 
tions for the inflammable nature of certain woods, was an idiom 
common in old days to the continental nations, and a singular instance 
of survival of linguistic phrase. Fire-worship continued to have its 
devotees in Europe until comparatively recent days ; and the sacred 
fire was always " new fire," kindled by friction, or not previously used 
for common purposes. The deity who was supposed in India to be 
the father of fire, and of the birth of fire by friction, was the maker 
of Indra's thunderbolts, and is probably identical in name with the 
thunder-divinity of New Zealand. A distinct legend is preserved in 
Eastern Polynesia as to the descent of the Maori people from a race 
whose name is identical with that of the fire-kindling instrument used 
in India. 




THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHEHLAND- 

SHIRE. 

By Miss Dempster. 

GATHERED these tales and sayings from the mouths of 
the/o/Z; in the summer of 1859, and to all the kind friends 
from whom I got this lore I offer, after many years, my 
warmest thanks. 

Of these stories two were printed by the late Mr. J. F. Campbell 
in his interesting Collection of the Tales of the West Highlands; 
the others are added to-day for the first time to that store of 
old-world knowledge which the Folk-Lore Society is intended to 
preserve. It was difficult in 1859 to make such a collection, but 
it would be impossible now to gather them in Sutherland. The 
measured prose of some of the tales would suggest that at one 
time they may have been actual compositions, but what is called 
" reading " has now supplied a substitute for this unwritten literature, 
which is being further banished by bigoted religious ideas and by 
modern progress in all its shapes. ** Other times " inevitably bring 
their proverbial " other manners," and the relics of popular antiquity 
are fast vanishing along with the language, the associations, and the 
primitive life of the people, who are out of touch with their betters 
and given over to social and polemical hatreds. 

Such as this collection is it was my own introduction to folk-lore, 
to the forgotten history, and to the past in which is buried in the 
present of the genuine Highland mind — to that primitive literature, 
in short, which is at once so like and so unlike the mythology of 
other primitive races. 

During the years that the volume has been in my possession I have 

Vol. 6. — Part 3. m 



150 THE FOLK-LOKE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

amused myself by annotating it with references to parallel super- 
stitions in other lands. I leave the notes, because they would seem to 
illustrate, without affecting, the folk-lore of the people of Sutherland. 



LEGENDS. 

i. — Thk Death of Sweno. 

Once upon a time there was a king in Sweden, and his son Sweno 
sailed on the sea. Upon a certain day Sweno took ship ; he had many 
men on board and red gold too, in heaps. His stepmother was a wise 
woman, and she bade him beware of Paraff (Cape Wrath), of Pol-dhu, 
and of Pol-darracligawn. 

He sailed and he sailed, till he anchored in Porst-an-Stuvanaig 
(Port of Sweno) as it is now called; but he did not know what land 
he had made. The men of the place armed themselves, and blackened 
their faces with soot from their pots. They came out to the ship in 
boats, and they told him this was Pol-Gawn ! Then cried the king's 
son, " The Lord have mercy upon my soul if this be indeed Pol- 
gawn ! " He weighed anchor and spread his sail; but, though he made 
as if to stand out to sea, the men of the isles and of Assynt were too 
strong for him, and they came on board the ship, and cried to Sweno 
that he should yield; but the Swedes were stout men, and they fought 
on deck and below. Then the king's son was wounded, and they put 
him below, and the fighting went on till a man of Pol-dhu, looking 
through a hole in the door, saw the king's son lying, and he shot him. 
Then the Swedes lost heart, and they gave up the treasure, and all that 
was in the ship, so only they might get away with the vessel, and with 
their lives. So the islanders began to work with the gold, and to lift 
it out in their plaids. One man held a plaid on the ship's side, and 
the other end was made fast in a boat; but the gold was heavy, so 
the plaid tore in two, and that treasure lies still in Pol-gawn. A year 
later the man from Pol-dhu, who had shot the king's son, said, " I go 
fishing to-day in Pol-gawn." While he fished a boat came suddenly 
over the waters, and in it there was a man with gold on his dress, and 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 151 

with a sword. When the boat came along they saw that the man had 
tlie face of Sweno the king's son. Then Sweno shot the fisherman of 
Glendhu dead — he crying out as he died, '•'■Eh! Mes me hae, es me 
fuhr ! " (If I 'gan it before, ah ! I get it now !) The place is called 
Porst-an-Stuvanaig to this day. — (From J. McLeod.) 

[The prince's heart was buried here. His sailors embalmed the 
body, and took it back to Sweden, to lay it in the king's choir — 
at least so said a fisherman on the Lax-Fiord who told me this tale, 
but Pennant gives another version. '' Torfaus mentions a bloody 
battle fought in this firth, at a place called Glendhu, by two pirates ; 
one of them he calls Ordranus Gillius, the other Svenus." — (Pennant, 
vol. iii. p. 342.) 

The fatality of one locality to certain persons has always been main- 
tained. The oracle warned Cambyses that he should die in EcJcbatana. 
The prince determined never to go there; but, on being accidentally 
wounded in the chase, he asked the name of the spot to which they 
had brought him to be treated for his wound; he was told that it was 
called " Eckbatana," and immediately expired. 

Twardowsky (the Dr. Faustus or Michael Scott of Lithuania) sold 
his soul to the devil, with this condition that the fiend could only 
claim it if they chanced to meet in Eome. The wizard avoided any 
visit to the city of St. Peter; but in a hamlet of his native land, 
which chanced to be called "Roma," the devil accosted him, and 
Twardowsky had difficulty in baffling the fiend. 

Henry IV. considered the prophecy that he should die in Jeru- 
salem to be fulfilled by his death in the " Jerusalem Chamber " at 
Westminster. 

The late Emperor Louis Napoleon had been told and he believed 
that the streets of London would be fatal to him. 

Captain Campbell was warned by the ghost of a murdered kinsman 
that he must render his soul at Ticonderoga. He had never heard 
of such a place, and the name was quite imknown in Argyllshire. 
But the war of American Independence broke out, Campbell went to 
America with his regiment, and, while lying wounded under the walls 
of Fort-Edward, he learned just before he expired that the Indian name 
of the spot was " Ticonderoga."] 

M 2 



152 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIllE. 

ii. — The Legends op Donald-Duival McKay, the Wizard 
OF THE Reay Country. 

Donald-Duival learned the black art in Italy. The devil sat in 
the professor's chair of that school, and at the end of each term he 
claimed as his own the last scholar. One day as they broke np there 
was a regular scramble, for none wished to be the last. Donald-Duival 
really was so; but, just as Satan snatched at him, Donald-Duival, 
pointing to his own shadow, which fell behind him, cried, " Take then 
the hindmost ! " and his shadow being seized, he himself escaped. 
When he returned to Scotland he was never seen to have a shadow. 

Donald went one day to meet his old master in the great Cave of 
Smoo. They had a violent quarrel, and Donald fled : the print of 
his horse's hoofs may be ?een there to this day. But Donald was 
himself very cruel, and a ring may also be seen to which at low water 
he fastened his victims, who of course were drowned by the rising tide. 
He could at any time travel to Italy and back in one night, some- 
times alighting covered with the frosts and snows of the high regions 
which he had traversed on the traditionary broomstick. 

Donald could oblige the fairies or " little men " to work for him. 
One day, when short of straw for his cattle, he begged some of a 
neighbour, who goodnaturedly replied that, provided he thrashed it 
himself, he might take as much straw as he liked. Donald went to 
the barn, flung himself down, and went to sleep. The hinds made a 
good joke of this, saying, " Donald-Duival's thrashing will be a liglit 
one." On their return from dniner tbey heard a great thumping and 
beating, and saw straw flying out of the windows in quantities, 
Donald's voice was heard repeating, " You and me, me and you." 
Fairy flails were hard at work, and all the straw was soon thrashed 
out. 

Donald once explored the Cave of Smoo. Having penetrated 
further than any man had ever gone, he heard a voice ciy, "Donald, 
Donald-Duival ! return! " Undaunted, however, he pushed on till he 
came to a large cask. In this he bored a hole, and out of it, to his 
surprise, there jumped a little man about an inch and a half long. 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLA^DSHIRE. 153 

Surprise grew to terror when this creature gradually assumed colossal 
proportions, and addressed him as follows : " Donald, did you ever 
see so great a wonder? " " Never, by my troth," replied the wizard; 
" but wert thou to shrink again, that would be a bigger wonder still." 
The giant grinned assent, and, after diminishing to a span, was simple 
enough to jump into the cask, which Donald closed immediately, and 
then left the cave much quicker than he had entered it. 

Donald was a rich man, having herds and herdsmen. One day his 
dey (dairywoman) was churning, when a man appeared and asked her 
for a drink of milk. Her husband, who was present, noticed that the 
man was followed by a large white and yellow colley, an animal of 
unusual strength and beauty. He did not like to make an offer for 
it to a stranger, but was surprised to hear the man mutter as he 
walked away, " Though I do not give my dog unasked, I might give 
him to the man who asked me for him." All this was repeated to 
Donald-Duival. '' Is that so ? " he said. '' Then it is likely the man 
will be back to-morrow. Bake ye a cake for him to-night; but put 
the girdle-plate inside the bannock, and set it before him with a stoup 
of milk; if he comes." The stranger did come, and did eat the 
bannock through. He again left, saying, '* Though the man did not 
ask for my dog, I might give it to him if he said the word." No 
word, however, was said, for the dairyman and his wife knew by this 
time that the visitor was not canny ; so they called after him, " If we 
did not ask for your dog yesterday, we will not take him in a gift 
to-day." On the following day the man came again, but this lime 
without his dog, nor was he offered milk by the dey. Donald, however, 
watched him, and presently saw him go off with the best cow. A 
struggle took place, in which the cow was torn to pieces close to the 
Cave of Smoo. 

There was a Boke of Magic much consulted by Donald. He once 
lent it to another wizard, a relation of his own, who returned it by a 
servant. The man was duly charged not to open its pages by the 
way ; but, curiosity prevailing, the churl opened the leaves, and was 
instantly surrounded by hundreds of " little men," who cried, " Work, 
work ! " The servant was horribly frightened ; but, thinking it safest 
to keep them employed, he bade them twist ropes of the heather. 



154 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTIIERLANDSHIRE. 

Quick as light all the heather within sight was coiled up into ropes. 
Again they cried, " Work, work!" The servant despatched them to 
the Bay of Tongue, and bade them turn its sand into ropes. With 
an angry scream at finding the task impossible they plunged into the 
sea, and Donald-Duival lost his servitors among the little men, though 
he still remained able at any time to draw rain or snow from the skies 
by a wave of his hand. — (From J. McLeod.) 

[There is a mixture here of the genii in a cask, which is oriental, with 
a legend about Fingal, and with the book of Michael Scott. Dempster 
in his Historia Ecclesiasiica says that he had heard in his youth of 
the existence of such books, which could not be opened without 
danger.— (Lib. xii. p. 495, 1827.) 

A cavern at Salamanca where magic was taught was walled up by 
Queen Isabella the Catholic. 

A celebrated professor in the chair of magic was Maugis d'Aggre- 
mont, but all the seven arts of enchantment, as taught by such 
masters to such scholars as Donald-Duival Mackay, are derived from 
Hercules. Michael Scott and Heron de Bourdeaux were able like 
Donald to fly through the air, and there was once a magician named 
Wade who in his boat Guingelot made fabulous journeys. 

A certain Virgilius, whose adventures, as recorded by J. Doesborcke, 
of Antwerp, are now very rare, had twenty-four unearthly assistants, 
whose iron flails did great execution, and he had an adventure with 
the devil in a very small hole, by means of which the " fynde " is 
imprisoned to this day. — (Montfaucon.) Donald-Duival Mackay is 
by some persons declared to have been really the first Baron Eeay 
(1628). Part of the legend about the fiendish visitor who ate the 
iron girdle is to be found in the MSS. of the Highland Society of 
Scotland.] 

iii. — The Rotterdam. 

Once upon a time a wicked sea captain built a ship in which he 
sailed the high seas, and hoped to conquer the world. When she was 
launched and manned he called her " the Rotterdam," and he said, " I 
now fear nor God nor man." His ship was so large that on her deck 
there was a garden of fruits and flowers, besides sheep, and milch kine, 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 155 

and provisions of all sorts. He was ignorant of the navigation of the 
Dornoch Firth, but he tried to enter it, in the hopes of some north- 
west passage. He ran his ship on the quicksands of the Gizzen Brigs, 
and there where she sank the fisherman can still see her topgallant, 
and her bargee, flying and fluttering in the waves. Her crew and 
her captain must be still alive, for in calm weather they may be heard 
praying and singing psalms to avert the judgment of the Last Day, 
when the master of the Kotterdam will be punished. 

[This recalls the account of Vanderdecken's attempt to double the 
Cape, and the legend of the " Flying Dutchman." In Delabouche's 
poem of " Le Navire Inconnu," the crime of the captain is said to 
have been his traffic in slaves : — 

" On raconte, mon fils, 
Qu'un grand forfait s'expie 
Dans les flancs habites 
De ce navire impie." 

The bells seem to refer the present story to a superstition about the 
buried cities, which finds expression in the next tale.] 

iv. — The Buried Castle. 

Once upon a time there was a strong castle which belonged to a very 
bad man, and in its court there was a well which supplied the soldiers 
when their wicked lord had to stand a siege. One night he gave a 
great ball, at which dancing was kept up to a very late hour. It was 
Sunday morning, yet the dancing was still going on, when a servant- 
girl came to tell the master that the well was overflowing. He told 
her rudely to empty it ; but she soon came again, and said that the 
water came up very fast. He swore at her, and bade her return to 
her work. The water continued to rise, and to rush out till first the 
court was filled, and then the castle itself disappeared into the earth, 
leaving in its place a deep lake. On clear days the chimneys and 
gables can be seen, and a gentleman who used to fish in the lake 
frequently remarked them. One day a little mannikin started up 
from among the reeds of its shore and said to him, " Come no more! 
You must fish here no more, for there are more mouths here than 




A 



/ 



156 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

there are fish to feed them." The mannikin then disappeared ; but 
the fisherman, whenever he heard a reed tremble in the wind, shook 
also in every limb, lest the creature should appear to him a second 
time. — (From D. Murray, Skibo.) 

[The Folge-Fiord in Norway is said to cover seven parishes which 

' were overwhelmed for their wickedness by snow and ice. Their church 

bells may be heard ringing, and the peasants of the Hardanger-Fiord 

expect that the buried villagers will one day be restored to the world. 

The Fucine Lake contains a buried city, and Herbadilla disappeared 
under a lake in Brittany. 

The tradition of the sea-covered city, as existing in Germany, sug- 
gested Miiller's beautiful poem:^ 

" Aus des Meeres tiefem, tiefem Grunde 
Klingen Abendglocken, dumpf und matt, 
Uns zu geben wunderbare Kunde 
Von der schonen, alten, Wunderstadt. 

" In der Fluthen Schooss hinabgesunken, 
Blieben unten ihre Triimmer stehen, 
Ihre Zinnen lassen goldene Funken, 
Wiederscbeinend auf dem Spiegel sehn. 

" Und der Scbiflfer, der den Zauberschimmer 
Einmal sah im hellen Abendroth, 
Nach derselben Stelle schifft er immer, 
Ob aucb rings umber die Klippe droht. 

"Aus des Herzens tiefem, tiefem Grunde 
Klingt es mir, wie Glocken, dumpf und matt, 
Acb ! sie geben wunderbare Kunde 
Von der Liebe, die geliebt es hat." 
***** 

This is the pathetic side of the legend ; its rational origin may 
well be the lacustrine habitations existing in so many lakes, to say 
nothing of some geological sinkings of the earth's surface.] 

V. — St. Gilbekt and the Dragon, 

There lived once upon a time, in Sutherland, a great dragon, very 
fierce and strong. It was this dragon who burnt all the fir-woods in 
Ross, Sutherland, and the Eeay, of which the remains, charred, black, 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 157 

find half decayed, may now be found in every moss. Magnificent forests 
they must have been, but the dragon set fire to them with his fiery 
breath, as he rolled over the whole land. Men fled from before his 
face, and women fainted when his shadow crossed the sky-line. He 
made the whole land a desert. And it came to pass, that this evil 
spirit, whom the people called " the Beast," and Dim guisch (of the 
black firs), came nigh to Dornoch, as near as to Lochfinn, from whence 
he could see the town, and the spire of St. Gilbert — his church. 
" Pity of you, Dornoch ! " roared the dragon. " Pity of you, Dornoch ! " 
said St. Gilbert ; and taking with him five long and sharp arrows, 
and a little lad to carry them, he went out to meet the " Beast." 
When he came over against it he said, " Pity of you ! " and drew his 
bow. The first arrow shot the Beast through the heart. He was 
buried by the townspeople. Men are alive now who reckoned distance 
by so or so far from " the stone of the Beast," on the moor between 
Skibo and Dornoch. The moor is now planted, and a wood called 
Caermore waves over the ashes of the fir-destroying dragon. — (From 
Alexander the Coppersmith.) 



vi. — The Salamander. 

The dragon killed by St. Gilbert (before-mentioned) must have been 
a salamander, since it was born from a fire which has lasted seven 
years. It lived in fire, and its breath burnt all the forests of the 
Highlands : onlv a man who should see it before it saw him had 
power to slay it, St. Gilbert dug a hole and hid himself in it, so as 
to get the first sight of it. 

Gilbert finished his cathedral in Dornoch by witchcraft ; he worked 
at it himself, and he used to fling up the nail to the spot he meant 
it to occupy, and sent the enchanted hammer after it. They both did 
their duty, and the hammer then returned to the hands of this 
''master-mason," He is called" Holy Gilbert," and sometimes " Gil- 
bert Saor."— (From Mrs. McKay.) 

[Holy Gilbert was really a bishop of Caithness, surnamed Cartho- 
philax. 



158 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHER]^ANDSHIRE. 

" 111 the time of king Alexander waz mony nobill clerkes : as 
Hugo — was in his dayes Saint Gilbert, bishop of Catteynes, 

redemption: ann: m.ccxlix. 

" Gilbert, archdeacon of Moray, a member of the great family of 
De Moravia, was himself already possessed of great estates in Suther- 
land by the gift of his kinsman, Hugh Freskyn. He was the son of 
W. de Moravia, Lord of Strabock and Duffus, and cousin-germain of 
William, Earl of Sutherland. He built the cathedral church of 
Dornoch at his own expense, and its endowments were procured by 
him. In the charter-room at Dunrobin is the charter of the consti- 
tution of his newly-built cathedral. It is not dated, and its era can 
only be limited by the period of Gilbert's episcopate: 1223-45." — 
(Cosmo Innes, Sketches of Scottish History, p. 82.) 

So much for the historical value of these legends. As for their 
mythology, I hear St. Gilbert called in Sutherland the Gobhainn Saor, 
and this epithet connects him as a builder with the fabulous free- 
mason and master-smith to whom seventeen Irish churches are 
attributed. Gohha means a smith, Saor means free or noble, but the 
name applies really not to any man but to a class — to those Cuthite 
builders to whom Ireland owes her round towers. Tradition, however, 
there affirms that that fabulous Gobha was " a black and lusty 
youth," * It is interesting to see the prehistoric Vulcans and Tubal 
Cains of Cuthite descent transformed in Sutherland into Holy Gilbert, 
and in Ireland figuring as St. Gobban and St. Abban. — (See Keane's 
Irish Temples, and Colgan's Fables of the Irish Saints.) 

The tradition of the hammer goes back to the Scandinavian tale of 
Thor and his hammer. 

In his character as a dragon-slayer St. Gilbert forms but one of 
a goodly company of medieval saints and heroes. 

The prowess of certain knights like William de Somervale against 
the " loathly worm " gives its name to Ormiston, so-called from 
the loyrm, or dragon, which perished there. There is a Cheshire 
legend which goes over the same dangers and the same exploits. 

* " He was so dark that you might have taken him for a smith." — Hurwitz's 
Jewish Tales. 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 159 

In France there are commemorated : 
S. Eomain at Eouen, 628. 
S. Pol, in Brittany, 594. 
S. Julien, first bishop of Mans, 59. 
S. Bie, or Bienlieureux, at Vendome. 
S. Arnaud, on the banks of the Scarfe. 
S. Clement, at Metz. 
S. Radegonde of Poitiers, on the Claiu. 
S. Bertram, at Comminge, 1076. 
S. Martial, on the Garonne. 
S. Martha, at Tarascon, first century. 
S. Marcel, at Paris. 
S. Cyr, at Genoa. 
S. Arnel, at Thiel. 

S. Florent, near Saumur. » 

S. Veran, at Aries. 
S. Victor, at Marseilles. 
Dieudonne, at Rhodes. 
Gilles de Chin, near Mons. 
Nino Orlandi, at Pisa, 1109. 
Raymond, at Neufchatel. 
Alexis Comnenns, at Trebisonde, 1204.] 

vii. — The Death of Diarmid ; or, the Boar of Ben Laighal, 

Once upon a time there was a king in Sutherland whose lands 
were ravaged by a boar of great size and ferocity. This boar had a 
den, or cave, in Ben Laighal, and that was full of the bones of cattle 
and of men. 

The king swore a great oath that he would give his daughter to the 
man who should rid the country of the monster. 

There came Ossian, and Fingal, and Oscar, and I know not how 
many more, but vainly they tried to compass the death of the boar. 
His bristles were a foot long, his tusks were great and white, and his 
eyes glowed red like beltane fires. 

When Diarmid came he saw the king's daughter. Her robe was 



160 THE FOLK-LOEE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

wliite, lier eyes were blue, and her long yellow hair fell round her as 
she stood in the gate. Then Diarmid said to himself that he would 
have her. Before the dawn of next day he had gone forth. He 
reached the boar's den and saw the monster lying, like a boat lies on 
the shore, long and broad and black. Drawing a shot from his bow 
he killed it on the spot. All the king's servants turned out and 
dragged tlie monster home with shouting. The king's daughter stood 
in the gate, like a May- morning, and smiling. But the king's heart 
was evil, and his face grew dark. Now that the boar was dead he 
would go back from his word, but he dared not do so openly. So he 
said to Diarmid that he should not have his daughter to wife till he 
had measured the body of his foe, by pacing it from snout to tail, and 
also backwards from tail to snout. 

" That,"" said Diarmid, "will I gladly do, and our wedding shall 
be on the morn's morning." 

He paced the beast from the head to the tail without harm or 
hindrance, but in measuring it backwards the bristles pierced his bare 
feet, and in that night Diarmid sickened and died. His grave, beside 
the boar's den, may be seen in Ben Laighal to this day. 

[The death of Diarmid, derived as it is from the older myths of 
Greece, forms the argument of a well-known Ossianic poem, and is 
referred to in the Ossian of the Highland Society. 

The boar's-head forms the crest both of the Mac-Dermots and of 
the Campbell family.] 

viii. — The Tailoe and the Skeleton. 

There lived in Dornoch in the olden time a tailor, who did not 
believe in witches, and who said " there was no ghosts." Now, St. 
Gilbert — his church — was the place where many were buried in those 
days that were not of the meaner of the people, and the tailor boasted 
that he would sew a pair of hose, alone, in that cathedral, in one night. 
Accordingly he took his seat, cross-legged before the bigh altar 
and plied his penetrating needle with wonderful assiduity : when 
lo ! a human skull began to roll towards him, and spoke at last as 
follows: "Mo cheanna gun fiah, gun fail, aig ," viz. : "My 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHEKLANDSHIRE. 161 

large head, having neither flesh nor blood, rises, tailor, to you." " I 
will see that presently, when this is finished," answered the undaunted 
tailor, sewing away as fast as possible. The skull next said: "My 
great head, and breast, without flesh or blood, rises, tailor, to thee." 
" I will see all that when this is done," was the reply; and so it 
went on, the skeleton rising from the floor, higher and higher, re- 
peating its observation, and the tailor sewing with clammy hands, 
and giving the same answer. At last the task was completed, and 
not till then did the tailor venture to look. Lo ! the ghastly skeleton 
stood upright its full length ; the damp clay covering only its white 
and fleshless feet. He started ofl', the ghost followed, but it did not 
overtake him till he reached the church-porch, when it slammed the 
door after his retreating feet with such horrid violence that it caught 
and lacerated the tailor's heels, leaving him a cripple for life. 

The spectre had, in closing the door, grasped the posts ; its fingers 
left a mark there, which might be seen any day till the restoration of 
the cathedral. 

[In Inverness-shire the scene of this story is laid at Beauly. The 
tailor worked in the ruined abbey, and he had candles, which the 
ghost blew out.] 

ix. — The Legend of the Holy Virgin and the Beetle. 

When the Holy Family were on their flight into Egypt they passed 
through a field where some men were sowing corn. The Holy Virgin 
spoke to the men, and begged them, should any one ask for tiding? of 
the fugitives, to say that a man, a woman, and a child had indeed 
passed this way, but only when they were sowing their crop. The 
labourers promised to obey her, and instantly the corn shot up, first 
the blade and then the ear, and then the full ripe corn in the ear. 
The husbandmen began to reap it. While they were thus employed 
the king's soldiers appeared, and asked them if they had seen a 
man and a woman leading their ass, and carrying a young child ? 
Obedient to the orders they had received, the men replied that such 
persons had indeed passed through the field, but that it had been 
when the corn was being sown, which they were now binding into 



162 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

sheaves. The soldiers were about to turn back, discouraged, when 
a black beetle lifted up its voice, and said: — "Yesterday, only 
yesterday, the Son of God passed this way." (A?i de! an de! cjia 
Mac Dhe seachad.) 

[This legend, lingering in Sutherland and Inverness-shire, has 
caused the death of many a beetle. Boys, if they find one, will stamp 
on it and say, — " Beetle! beetle! you won't see to-morrow :" i.e. live 
to tell any tales.] 



X. — The Lonely Giant of Barra. 

Once upon a time a sea captain, who had some horses on board, 
landed in Barra to get some hay. He wandered about, but he met no 
one till he came upon a splendid castle in which was a giant, an 
immense man, old and grey, who was quite alone. This giant said 
that he had once been with Fingal in Morvcn ; " and ah ! " he sighed, 
" I feel that if I could only fill my hand once more full of Highland 
earth I should be king again." The captain, having earth for ballast, 
said he could help him. From a sack full of Highland soil he began 
to fill the hand of the giant. But the hand was so big that one sack 
did not suffice, it seemed to be no bigger than a dry pea in that 
enormous palm. They were both much vexed, and the captain 
promised in return for the giant's hay to come back to Barra with 
earth enough to do the business. He did return, but the castle had 
vanished, and its great grey old man was nowhere to be seen. 



xi. — The Three Hunters and their Brides. 

Once upon a time there lived at the foot of Ben Mohr of Assynt 
three young men, who were the sons of one man, and famous hunters. 
They were fair to see, as kings' sons ought to be: fleet of foot, too, 
and one of them, the youngest, was skilled in music, and cai-ried a 
"chaunter" in his quiver. They were promised to three sisters, all 
daughters of one man, but quite unlike each other. The first had golden 
locks, the second had lint white (flaxen ) hair, and the curls of the youngest 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTTIERLANDSHIRE. 163 

were as black as the raven's wing. Their necks and breasts were as 
white as the swan, the canna (cottongrass), the sea-gull, or the foam 
on the pools of the shore. It came to pass on a certain day that 
these three young men went deer-stalking in the corries of Ben Mohr, 
but Ben Mohr put her cap of cloud on, and they lost their way in the 
mist. Hours passed. They groped about, and at last they espied a 
light. On making for it they discovered, to their joy, a bothy with a 
blazing fire, at which they warmed themselves and roasted some of 
the venison they had killed. When they had eaten, the piper brother 
played first piohrachds and then marches and reels. "Ah!" cried 
the eldest, "if our three sweethearts were but here, we might have a 
dance." Hardly had he spoken than three beautiful maidens, all 
dressed in green, appeared, who held out their hands to them, and 
then led off a merry reel. But the piper lad was the first to see that 
these girls were all web-footed. He was alarmed, and, turning to his 
partner, he asked permission to go to the open door so that he might 
have fresh air before playing for them a second time. She said that he 
might do so, provided that he did not let go the long green ribbon that 
was fastened round her slender waist. He took the girdle in his 
hand, and the fair girl followed him mutely. Quick as light he drew 
his skenedhu from his stocking, cut the ribbon across, and, shouting 
his own love's name, he dashed out into the night. The weird damsel, 
however, followed swift and noiseless, and she gained upon his steps. 
Some cattle and horses were grazing near, but they scenting the Evil 
One flew in terror, urging a mad flight down the glen. Only one 
horse remained. He advanced towards the hunter neighing. The 
fugitive flung himself upon him ; but the noble beast, with head and 
heels, managed to keep the sorceress at bay. She continued to hurl 
darts at them till the dawn appeared. Our hunter then made his 
way to the bothy, which he found reduced to ashes ; but bones and 
fragments enough remained to prove that his two elder brothers had 
perished in the embraces of their green-robed brides. 

[For a legend like this, see the notes to the " Lady of the Lake." 
There is a German song in which three fair maidens appear : the 
one is called Anna, the other Barbara ; the third is to be the singer's 
love ; but they all turn into birds, and fly away.] 



164 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTIIEliLANDSHlKE. 

xii. — The Sleeping Giants. 

The giants, it is hoped, are not all dead, but only sleeping in Tigli 
Mohr na Alba (the Great House of Albyn). A man once entered a 
cave, and there found many huge men all asleep on the floor. They 
rested on their elbows : in the centre of the hall there was a stone 
table, and on it lay a bugle. The man put the bugle to his lips, and blew 
once. They all stirred. He blew a second blast, and one of the 
giants, rubbing his eyes, said, " Do not do that again, or you will 
wake us ! " The intruder, who fled in terror, never could find the 
mouth of that cave again. 

[This touches on the myth of the sleeping king or hero which is so 
widely distributed through the world. 

Jeremy the prophet is expected by the Jews. Barbarossa and 
Charlemagne are only asleep, the one under a mountain, the other 
not in his vault, but in the Unterberg. Lost King Sebastian of Por- 
tugal is another case in point, to say nothing of Balder and of 
Arthur, "buried by weeping queens in Ascalon" ; all heroes for whom 
the world is waiting. Marko of Servia retreated into a cavern ; there 
in the forest hangs his sword. His horse is eating the grass ; and 
when the sword falls to the ground, Marko will awake aud will come 
forth. — (See Raube's History of Servia, p. 85.)] 

xiii. — The Demon Angler op Loch Shin. 

Once upon a time a man lived on Loch Shin side. He had flocks 
and herds in plenty, and he went up with his two sons to the shieling, 
for it was summer-time, and his cows were in the upland pasture. 
Well, that was good to him ; and in his house by Loch Shin side 
there was nobody left but a little lassie and a neighbour's son, a bit 
laddie that played with her all the week long. The lassie had a wild 
dove's nest in an old tree, and first she would not show the nest, and 
syne she would. So they two went together, and they climbed to 
see the Qgg^ that were in it. They were wandering home, their 
lone, when they saw a man fishing off a stone, with a yellow dog 
beside him. The man's back was turned to them, and the lassie was 



THE FOLK-LORE OP SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 165 

keen to know who he was, and the bit laddie to know if he had fish. 
" Call ye to him," she said, " and ask him if he has trout, and if he 
will give us one to our supper?" At first they feared to do this, but 
at last the laddie crept up to him. " Have ye got fish ?" said he; 
and then the girlie said, " And will ye give us a trout to our supper, 
for my father is in the hill ? " Up rose the man ; but it was not a 
man, but a fire, which blazed up to the sky. The heather taking fire 
rolled flames up to the children's feet, who were crying with fright 
before they got home. 

"And what was it?" 

" Ou, just the Mischief."— (W. Eoss, stalker.) 

xiv.— The Mermaid op Lochinvee. 

A mermaid fell in love with a fisherman of Lochinver. Her lover 
was enamoured, but he had heard how youths ensnared by mermaids 
had found a watery grave. 

It became necessary then to make his own terms, and to arrange 
matters so as to secure himself. To rule a mermaid it is necessary to 
possess yourself, not of her person, but of the pouch and belt which 
mermaids wear. This carries the glass, comb, and other articles well- 
known to be indispensable to the lady's comfort, but also as a sort of 
life-preserver helps them to swim. 

By fair means or foul this cautious swain got hold of the pouch, 
and the mermaid became in consequence his bride and his bonds- 
woman. There was little happiness in such a union for the poor 
little wife. She wearied of a husband, who, to tell the truth, thought 
more of himself than of her. He never took her out in his boat when 
the sun danced on the sea, but left her at home with the cows, and 
on a croft which was to her a sort of prison. Her silky hair grew 
tangled. The dogs teased her. Her tail was really in the way. She 
wept incessantly while rude people mocked at her. Nor was there 
any prospect of escape after nine months of this wretched life. Her 
powers of swimming depended on her pouch, and that was lost. 
What was more, she now suspected the fisherman of having cozened 
her out of it. 

Vol. 6. — Part 3. n 



166 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

One day the fisherman was absent, and the labourers were pulling 
down a stack of corn. The poor mermaid watched them weeping, 
when to her great joy she espied her precious pouch and belt, which 
had been built in and buried among the sheaves. She caught it, and 
leapt into the sea, there to enjoy a delicious freedom. — (J. MacLeod, 
Laxford.) 

XV. — A Wild Night's Vision. 

After the ruin of kingcraft and prelacy in Scotland many gentle- 
men found the country but little to their taste. 

Captain William Eoss, of Invercarron, in common with " Sir 
Eandal," and with many more good soldiers, went to push their 
fortunes in the wars of " the high Germanic." This laird of Inver- 
carron was a tall and very muscular man, and legends about his 
strength and his courage long lingered in Strathcarron. People 
thought it a pity that so pretty a fellow as had been their soldier- 
laird should ever have shed his blood on foreign soil. Captain 
William Eoss fell at last in action, but his fame did not die with him; 
and many generations later a young Mr. Eoss, of Invercarron, felt no 
little envy of his legendary reputation for strength, size, and beauty. 
This young man would fain have been declared the tallest, fairest, and 
strongest man that the family had ever produced ; but there were old 
people in the glen who told him that so far was this from being the 
case that he would not reach up to the shoulder of the captain who fell 
on a German battle-field. " That," replied the young man, " remains 
to be proved." " That you can never prove," was the retort, and at 
last the boaster determined by fair means or foul to convince himself 
of his superiority. 

At Langwell, on the Oikel, there lived a wizard, and to him young 
Mr. Eoss applied for help. " Could he see his ancestor ? Could he 
measure himself against him ? " The wise man undertook to exhibit 
the dead soldier to his descendant's inquisitive gaze : only Mr. Eoss 
must promise obedience and silence. 

They accordingly repaired that night to a flat meadow near the 
Oikel, where the enchanter, drawing a large circle on the turf, bade 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 167 

our hero take his stand beside a white stone in the centre of it. Ho 
engaged, under peril of his life, not to stir from this spot, and not to 
touch or handle anything he might see. "And," quoth his guide, 
*' there are many that must pass before you this night. As each lot 
passes before your eyes, ask only, < Is Captain William Eoss here ? ' " 

The wizard now returned to his hut. The harvest-moon was at the 
full, and assuredly its mellow light never fell upon a stranger sight 
than was now presented to the gaze of a young man who half-repented 
of his rashness, as at midnight a large spectral army, drawn up to his 
right, began to move towards the bed of the Oikel. Company after 
company, regiment after regiment, this host defiled before him. All 
was silent as the grave, for the tread of these armed men fell noiselessly 
on the turf. The whole ghostly army unrolled itself, and of each com- 
pany he demanded in a hoarse whisper, " Is Captain William Eoss 
here ? " '' No ; but he is coming," at length replied an officer at the head 
of one of the companies. Hours seemed to have elapsed, and still these 
foreign legions, in the strange uniforms, new colours, and strange 
eagles, succeeded others. There came men of fierce aspect ; hordes of 
Tilly and Merode, ragged and worn, but all silent ; and each brigade 
vanished as its predecessor had done. The waters of the Oikel, 
lapsing softly by woods and hills to its junction with the North 
Sea, seemed to swallow them up, along with the uncouth field-pieces 
that had been dragged slowly across the verge of the magic circle. 
Young Mr. Eoss still asked the same question, and at intervals 
he received the same answer. At last a company appeared, and an 
officer walked conspicuous, for in his great height he towered a Saul 
among the people, a head and shoulder above the stoutest corporal. 
" Is Captain William Eoss here ?" asked our hero. " He is," replied 
the corporal, and saluted. At that moment the tall officer, to whose 
shoulder the boastful young laird of Invercarron hardly reached, 
stepped out, and advanced within the circle. He greeted his young 
kinsman by name, and asked to shake hands with him. But our hero 
had been instructed not to touch or handle anything that he saw, so 
he refrained himself. The late soldier next pressed him to march a 
little way with them, but this also young Eoss explained that he was 
unable to do. " Then," said Captain William Eoss, " I must not 

N 2 



168 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

linger here." And after bidding good evening, the gigantic officer 
strode on, rejoined his company, and along with it vanished into the 
swift-running river. Then the vision ended. The crestfallen young 
boaster had to stand at his charmed post till the sun rose in the sky 
— till the kine began to low in the meadows, and faint cock-crows 
came from the distant cottages. He was so vexed that he threatened 
to have the wizard burnt for his unholy practices ; but as the story 
made against himself, he thought better of it. The result of his 
moonlight expedition could only, if made known, raise a laugh at his 
expense, so young Ross never put his threat against the wise man 
into execution ; and, what was better, he never boasted any more 
among the beaux and belles of Ross-shire of his strength or of his 
stature. — (W. Graham, Cuthil.) 

xvi.'— The Assynt Man's Mistakes. 

The Assynt man's wife once asked him to take her spinning-wheel 
to be mended. The wind catching the wheel set it turning, so he 
threw it down, and said, " Go home, then, and welcome ! " He then 
struck across the hill, and on arriving asked his wife if her wheel had 
got home yet ? " No," she replied. " Well, I thought not, for I 
took care to take the short cut. It will be here presently." 

A traveller stopping one day at his house asked the hour. The 
Assyindach, lifting a large sun-dial from its stand, put it in the 
stranger's lap that he might see for himself. 

Seeing a four-wheeled carriage, he exclaimed, " Well done the 
little wheels ! the two big ones wont overtake them to-day." 

He took his child to be baptised. The minister, who knew him, 
said he doubted if he were fit to hold the child for baptism. " Oh, 
to be sure I am, tho' he is as heavy as a stirk." This answer showing 
but little wit, the minister then asked him how many commandments 
there were ? The Assynt man boldly replied twenty. "Oh, that 
will never do. Go home first, and learn your questions " (catechism). 
On his way back the Assynt man fell in with a neighbour. " But 
how many commandments are there ? There must be a great many, 
for the minister would not be content with twenty." When set right 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 169 

on this point he went back to the minister, and to keep the baby warm 
he slipped it into his coat-sleeve, tying up the mouth of the sleeve 
with a string. But as he walked the string came off, the baby fell 
out, and slipped into a snow-wreath. Not till he was in church did 
the Assynt man discover his mistake. " I am very sorry," he said, 
" but not a bit of Kenneth have I got now." — (N.B. No wise person 
names an unbaptised infant ; it is unlucky, and this infant died in 
the snow.) 

The Assynt man once went as far as Tain to buy meal. A man 
overtaking him asked him what o'clock it was. '' Well, last time it 
was twelve ; but if it is striking still it must be nearly twenty." 

He carried two bags full of cheese to market one day. One bag 
broke, and the cheese rolling fast down hill testified to a power of 
locomotion on their part which he was sorry not to have found out 
sooner, as they were very heavy. He, therefore, opened the second 
bag, and sent its contents after the first ones, walking on himself to 
market. He was surprised, as he said, not to find his cheeses. He 
waited all day, and then consulted his mother, who advised him to 
look for them at the bottom of the hill. There, to his great joy, he 
found them all. 

On seeing a hare for the first time he took it for a witch, and 
while repeating the Lord's Prayer he backed from it. Unluckily he 
backed into a pond, and there, but for his wife's help, he must have 
been drowned. 

[Assynt is spoken of in Sutherland as Beotia was spoken of in 
Thebes. But the Greeks had a tale of a stupid man who, when asked 
if his house was a good one, brought one of its stones as a sample. 

In Germany a certain " Kijrdel " and " Michel " are remarkable 
for their stupidity, and make just such mistakes as the Assynt man 
perpetrated.] 

xvii. — The Last Giant, and he Blind, 

The last of the giants lived among the Fearn hills, Ross-shire, and 
within sight of the windows of Skibo. He had an only daughter, 
married, not to a giant, but to a common man. His son-in-law did 



t 



170 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

not always treat him well, for lie was sometimes very hungry, so 
hungry that he had to wear a hunger belt. 

One day, at dinner, his son-in-law said to him, " Did you ever, 
among the giants, eat so good beef, or from so large an ox ! " 
" Among us," said the last of the giants, "the legs of the birds were 
heavier than the hindquarters of your ox." They laughed him to 
scorn, and said it was ibecause he was blind that he made such mis- 
takes. So he called to a servant, and bid him bring him his bow and 
three arrows, and lead him by the hand to a corrie which he named in 
the Balnagowan forest. *' Now," he said, " do you see such and such 
a rock ? " " Yes," said the servant. " Are there rushes at the foot 
of it .?" " Yes," said the servant. *' And is there a step in the face 
of it ?" " Yes." " Then take me to the steps, and put me on the 
first of them." The servant did so. " Look now, and tell me what 
comes." " I see birds," said the fellow. " Are they bigger than 
common ? " " No, no bigger than in Fearn," said the servant. A 
little after, " What do you see now ? " " Birds still," said the servant. 
" And are they bigger than usual ?" " They are three times bigger 
than eagles." A little later, " Do you see any more birds?" said the 
giant. " Yes ; that the air is black with them, and the biggest is 
three times as big as an ox." " Then guide my hand on the bow," 
said the blind giant. And the lad guided him so well that the 
biggest bird fell at the foot of the rock among the rushes, " Take 
home a hindquarter," said the giant, and they carried it home between 
them. When they came to the house of his son-in-law he walked in 
with it, and aimed a tremendous blow at the place where his son-in- 
law usually sat. Being blind, he did not see that the ciiair was empty. 
It was broken to atoms. But the son-in-law lived to repent, and to 
treat the blind giant better. — (Eev. Niel Mackinnon, Creich.) 

[This tale is known in the Hebrides. The giant was Ossian. 

There is an Irish version of the legend, in which the blackbirds are 
called deer, or elksJ] 

xviii. — The Tree taken to Witness. 

Once upon a time there were two men travelling together on foot 
along Spey side. The elder one of the two grew weary, and they sat 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 171 

down to rest under a tree, having drank of a little stream, that ran 
below them. The wearied man soon fell asleep, and his companion sat 
watching the larks singing above the furze-bushes, and the dimpling 
and purling of the burn. He heard his fellow-traveller groaning and 
muttering in a restless sleep, and he soon after saw creep out of his 
mouth an insect like a bee, only wanting its wings. This bee crawled 
along the man's clothes, and down on the sod, till it came to the 
brook, which it could neither fly over nor swim. It aye turned back 
and back, and aye tried it again, till the waking man, letting it creep 
on his sword, helped it across. It then went on two hundred yards, 
or more, and disappeared in a small cairn. Presently the sleeper 
came to himself, and told his friend that he had had a strange dream: 
a " wee, wee crayterie, no bigger nor a bee," had told him of a hidden 
treasure, and had promised to show it to him. It had seemed to him 
as if the creature came out of his mouth, had crossed the burn by his 
comrade's help, and had gone out of sight in a cairn. The watcher 
(who had had time to follow the bee to the cairn just hid by a rising 
ground, and not more than two hundred yards off) laughed at the story, 
but the elder man said that it must be true, and declared his mind 
to seek the cairn and its contents. High words followed, and the 
younger, drawing his sword, slew the man who had dreamt the 
dream of gold. The victim with his last breath upbraided the other 
with treachery, and took the tree, under which he had slept and now 
lay, to witness that he had been foully murdered. The murderer dug 
out the cairn and found the treasure, gold and silver and silver 
armour-pieces, and became a gay, rich man, but " aye where he went 
men saw a tree abune him and behind him, aye walking where he 
walked, and staying where he stayed. An' for all his gear he never 
got a friend to bide wi' him, nor a lass to marry him. At last he was 
over weary of it all, and went to the priest, and telled him the way of 
it, and made a restitution to the dead man's folk, and that was good 
to him whatever : but he did na live lang syne." — (Rev. W. Forsyth, 
Dornoch.) 

xix. — The unjust Sentence. 
Once upon a time two men went salmon-fishing in the Shin, and 



172 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

one of them happened to fall into the linn pool, a very deep place 
indeed. The other pulled him out with the gaff, but in doing so 
blinded him of one eye. Well, what did this man do, but sue his 
friend for the loss of the eye. They went before the magistrate, and 
the magistrate was so foolish as to decide that the one must pay the 
other damages for the loss of his sight. All the country talked 
about the sentence, and said that the man had " had a bad justice," 
and that the next man who fell into the falls of Shin must be left to 
drown at this rate, as no man could afford to save another's life at the 
risk of his own, and to pay a fine into the bargain. A few days after 
the magistrate was out walking, and at his right-hand side was a 
green mound, on which some little girls were playing. They were 
ranged in rows, one sat at the top, and two stood before her. " Now," 
said the little girl, " I am the unjust judge, and you are to be the 
man that lost his eye," and so on they went, and the magistrate stood 
to listen to them. They talked for a long time, and at last the judge 
got up and said, " My sentence is, let the man go into the pool again, 
and give him his choice there to drown if he can't help himself out, 
or to lose his eye in being lifted; if he chooses the last, he is never to 
say another word, but go home and be thankful." 

The magistrate was so much struck that he went home, summoned 
the men, revoked the sentence, and ordered the grumbler a beating 
for his pains. — (D. R. Stack.) 

[There is a legend in H. Hurwitz's Collection of Jewish Tales (1826) 
which is something like this.] 

XX. — Drochaid-na-Vouha, or, The Kelpie's Bridge, 
(A legend of the Gissen Brigs). 

It is said that the kelpies were tired of crossing the Dornoch Firth 
at its mouth in cockle-shells, so they resolved to build a bridge. This 
was a magnificent work, the piers and the piles were all headed with 
pure gold. Unfortunately a countryman went by, and, lifting up his 
hands, bade " God bless the workmen and the work." At the sound 
of the Divine Name the workmen vanished and the work sank 
beneath the waves. The sand accumulating round it forms a danger- 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 173 

ous bar across the entrance to the Dornoch Firth to this day. — (D. 
Murray, Skibo.) 

[Froissart tells how in 1381, when the Duke of Anjou was besieging- 
a strong castle on the coast of Naples, a necromancer built a bridge 
which carried ten soldiers abreast, until any that passed on the bridge 
made " the sign of the crosse on hym, then all went to nought, and 
they that were on the bridge fell into the sea."] — Vol. i. p. 391. 

xxi. — The Romance of Gille na Cochlan Crackenach. 

It happened to the Righ na Lirriach, after his marriage, to lose his 
way in the hills, while on a hunting expedition. He wandered long, 
and at last discovered a hut, and entered it, to be hospitably received 
by the Ben-ee (an enchantress, a fairy of the mountains), its only 
occupant. Here, under spell, he lived for twelve months; and not till 
the Ben-ee had given birth to a son did she set him free to return to 
the palace. There he found that in the first months of his absence 
the queen had also given birth to a son, over which he rejoiced, while 
the people rejoiced to see again the Righ na Lirriach. Not long 
after he went again to hunt on the hills. Now the henwife was 
one skilled in enchantment, and she came to the queen, and declared 
to her that the king had another son, and that that son's mother 
was the great Ben-ee. In order to get the king to return the 
queen feigned herself sick, and sent to tell him that she lay 
a-dying, and that, to see her alive, he must come instantly. On 
receiving the message, the king hastened home, and to his wife's 
chamber, where he asked her if nothing would do her good ? " One 
thing," she said, might, but he would have to vow to give it to her 
before she revealed what it was; so he swore that he would do it, 
" Then," she said, " bring me here the son of the Ben-ee." To this 
he replied that the thing grieved him, and, had he not vowed, he 
would not perform it — however, now he must and would. He started 
for the hut of the Ben-ee, and had to remain long with her 
before he could obtain her consent; but at last he brought the boy 
to the palace, and the queen, receiving him kindly, ordered him to be 
brought up with her own son. The boys grew up together. One 
.day, as they were amusing themselves together, there passed by them 



174 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

a man, greyheaded and old, who said thus to them: " You seem to be 
very happy together, but one of you shall yet kill the other." They 
both answered, •' That shall never happen"; and, in order to falsify 
the prediction of the old man, Fach-M6hr-mac-Eigh-na-Lirriach (the 
son of the Ben-ee, and so called in his father's palace) took his 
departure, and went from his father's house to push his fortunes in 
some other land. Wandering about, as he was, in search of some 
employment, and being weary of the way, he sat down and fell asleep 
under a tree. When he awoke and looked up he observed a man 
standing over him, who spoke kindly to him, inquiring whither he 
was going, to which Fach-M6hr replied that he sought a master to 
give him work. The stranger asked his name. " Gillie-na-Cochlan 
Crackenach," replied the lad, but said not that he was a king's son. 
" Since I have given you my name," said the young man, " tell me 
now yours." " Then," said the stranger, " I am Ossian-Righ-na-Faen" 
(king of the Picts). So Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach agreed to 
enter the service of the king, and went home with him to be intro- 
duced to the other servants in the castle. But that very night the son 
of the Ben-ee quarrelled with them and killed half of their number. 
So the king's counsellors advised the king to turn out Gillie-na- 
Cochlan-Crackenach, or else he would destroy all his subjects in Faen. 
"Where shall we send him to?" said the king, "To Eillan Phir 
Mohr" (Isle of the Giants), they said, " and let him bring from thence 
the corn chearach " (drinking-cup). Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach 
set out for the island, and there found a great and enchanted castle. 
Eound it stood a guard armed with iron flails. He took hold by the 
legs of the man of them who had the biggest head, and with this flail 
killed the whole of the guard. He then walked into the castle ; there 
sat the king and the giants his companions, and the co?m chearach 
was before them on the table. After saluting the king he asked for 
a drink. They desired him to drink from the cup on the table; he 
took it up, drank it out, and, putting it under his arm, he walked out, 
the king heeding it not, for he thought that the robber would be slain 
by the guard in going out of the castle with the cup. Gillie-na- 
Cochlan-Crackenach returned to the Righ-na-Faen. Men were much 
surprised. " And now," said the king's counsellor, " now that this 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 175 

man has returned from Eillen-Phir-Mbhr your subjects are all dead 
men. " What now will we do with him ? " cried the king. " Let 
us order him," said the counsellor, " to leap twelve times backwards 
and forwards over the ditch, twelve feet broad, which surrounds the 
castle, and cause him to be shot at with arrows from both banks," 
and the gillie leapt, but, leaping, caught the arrows with his hands 
before they touched him. 

"What now?" said the king to the counsellor. " Make him try 
a race with Cuillie " (swift as the wind, and brother of the king). 
And the gillie ran; but, before starting, he bid Cuillie start, saying 
he should himself wait for a little to rest. This set the whole court 
laughing. When Cuillie was halfway over the course, and scarce 
halfway up the hill, the gillie set off, overtook him, and, striking him 
with the hand on the shoulder, changed him into a white deer. After 
this he left the country of the Faen, and went to visit the Ben-ee. 
He remained with her for a year, till one day he told her that he 
wished to return to the country of the Faen to free Cuillie from the 
enchantment. He did so, and he returned with Cuillie to the castle, 
where the king joyfully received him, but shortly after informed 
Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach that he had had that day a letter from 
the queen of Eillen-na-Muick but could not go to her, nor to 
her country, unless Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach went with him. 
"Through the world," said he, " I will go with the king, but not 
to one place, and that place is Eillen-na-Muick." The king would take 
no refusal, upon which Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach said that, if the 
king could get the consent of the Ben-ee, his mother, he would then 
gladly go. The king then asked where the Ben-ee was to be found. 
" On the hill by the sea, combing her hair, you will find my mother." 
The king went and found the Ben-ee, as her son had said. He caught 
her by the hair. Winding the long locks round his hand, he swore to 
her that he would not let her go till she gave leave for her son to go 
with him to Eillen-na-Muick. " Let him go then," she said; "but, if 
you bring my son home alive, let the sails you hoist up as you sail in 
the bay be red; if not, let them be black in your vessels." The king 
swore it to her, and they sailed for Eillen-na-Muick.* 

* Isle of the Pig. 



176 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

They came at last into the bay below the castle, and the queen 
stood with her twelve maids and looked from the windows ; and, 
seeing a vessel in the bay, she laid the whole crew under a spell, 
except Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach. Upon this Gillie-na-Cochlan- 
Crackenach laid one on the queen and on her twelve maids, and 
they changed into twelve white stags that could not draw their heads 
back into the windows because of the width of their branching cabers 
(horns). The queen cried, " Fach-Mbhr-mac-Righ-na-Lirriach, remove 
the enchantment." " Nay," he replied, " remove yours first, because 
it was the first laid on." She did so, and Ossian Righ-na-Faen knew 
now for the first time that his strong servant was the son of the Righ- 
na-Lirriach. Now the queen called a second time, " Remove the 
enchantment." Said Fach-Mbhr to the queen, " I like well that you 
should look at us so ; but where am I and my master and his servants 
to find a lodging to-night?" "There is a big barn here," she said, 
" it is close by, and will hold the whole of you." When they saw the 
barn, lo ! it consisted of seven couples, and seven miles between each, 
full of giants. So Fach-Mbhr looked round, and took by the legs the 
one who had the biggest head, and with him he slew the whole 
of them. He then bade the servants to go in and clean out the 
barn. They began, but every spadeful they threw flew into their faces. 
"Be off! be off! " he said, and, setting to, cleaned the whole out in a 
few minutes. He then went t(> the queen and said they needed fuel 
and fire. " There is a large stack of peats hard by," said the queen ; 
" take from it as much as you please." So the men went, but every 
peat they took flew back and hit them in the face. They went and 
told this to Fach-Mbhr, who came out, lifted the stack in his arms, 
and carried it into the barn. Then Fach-Mbhr went again to the 
queen and said, " Where are provisions for me, for my master, and for 
his men ? " Said the queen, " There is a bull in the park below, take 
him and kill him for your use." The men went out to take the bull, 
but dared not come near it for the flames of fire it vomited forth out 
of its mouth. This they told to Fach-Mbhr. " I do not know," cried 
Fach-Mbhr, " what to think of a crew like this that can do nothing," 
and, catching the bull by the horns, with one wrench tore him in half. 
The carcase was hauled up to the barn, and they feasted there that 



THE FOLK-LORE OP SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 177 

night. When darkness came on, Fach-Mbhr said to them all, "We 
must watch. Choose you the first part of the night or the last ? " 
They said they were ready to take the first watch, but Fach-Mbhr 
replied, " He now thought he would take the first, and they should 
have the latter watch, and so they might now go to bed." About 
midnight the mother of all the giants he had slain in the barn came 
home with provisions for her sons, and, seeing Fach-Mbhr, a battle 
began between them. He got the great mother down, when she cried, 
" Spare my life, and I will give you what will bring the dead to life 
and cure all manner of disease." " Where is it ? " *' Under the flag 
of the hearthstone," she said. " And how do you call it? " " Flaggan 
Fiacallach." As soon as she had said this he put her to death. In 
the morning they all went down to the bay, and got on board their 
vessel. " Now," cried the queen, " Fach-Mbhr, remove all your 
enchantments." " I like well, queen, that you should look at us 
so till we go out of sight." They had now got some way from Eillen- 
na-Muick, when Fach-Mbhr said to his master and to the crew, *' I will 
now make war in the sky, and you will not see me for six days and 
six nights, except as a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire." At the 
end of that time he said they would see him coming down, when they 
must hold up the blunt end of a spear, on which he might alight. 
They were overjoyed when the storm was over and they saw him 
coming down; but they had held up the points of their spears, and on 
them Fach-Mbhr-mac-Righ-na-Lirriach falling was slain. They were 
sorry for the death of their champion, and, as ordered by the king, 
they hoisted black sails, that the Ben-ee might see that her son was 
dead. Soon after they landed, and the Ben-ee met them. To the 
king of the Faen she said, " I knew how it would be and how it is — 
my son is dead. It is not willingly that you slew him, else none of 
you had ever reached the land," and, taking her son in her arms, she 
carried him to the hills ; she found on his body the Flaggan Fiacal- 
lach, and rubbing some of the oil into the corpse brought him to life 
again. She then brought him to her hut, and there he lived till he 
heard that his brother, the son of the king of the Lirriach, was ill 
and dying. All the physicians of the land had been called, but they 
could not cure him ; when they failed, their heads were cut off, and 



178 THE FOLK-LORE OP SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

nailed round the castle. At last came Facli-Mblir, and brought with 
him the " Flaggan Fiacallach "; * with the oil he anointed the body of 
his brother, and restored him to health. Great was the joy of the 
Eigh-na-Lirriach, and he commanded that when he died his kingdom 
should be equally divided between the two sons. — (Mrs. Young, 
Lairg.) 

[The romance of Gillie-na-Cochlan-Crackenach is a specimen of the 
long-winded stories still told, the unwritten novels of the western 
highlands and islands. It is a wonderful fumble of many myth- 
ologies. Thor, Arthur, Theseus, Circe, Hercules, may all be traced, 
to say nothing of scriptural allusions.] 

xxi. — Mr. Alexander Fraser's Pilgrimage, 

(This story was told by a field labourer. It had been repeated to 
her by another woman, who said that it had never been written, but 
that she had heard it repeated by four generations. — Peggy Munroe, 
Achlach.) 

Mr. Alexander Fraser was the priest of a hill parish in Inverness- 
shire. A tall, grave man, he was feared and not much loved ; but he 
had become moodier than ever, and men ceased to speak well of him in 
the last year of his residence among his flock. He had broken the vow 
of celibacy, and had implicated in his guilt one of his humblest parish- 
ioners. The evil tale got wind ; but it was in an agony of remorse 
that this man bid his love farewell, and fell on his knees on the hill- 
side, where they had parted for the last time, vowing that he would 
neither shave his beard nor wear shoes till he had expiated his guilt, 
and obtained remission of his sin at the Sepulchre of our blessed Lord. 
He took leave of his sister and of his aged mother, who was blind, 
bidding her bless him, as he went on a needful errand. " Is it an 
errand of mercy, my son ? " said the aged woman. " It is an errand 
of necessity, mother, and may God have mercy upon it." So Alex- 

* In an Icelandic legend the mysterious phial appears. An old woman in a 
blue cloak, with a glass phial, goes over the corpses after a battle. She anoints 
them with the ointment, and life is restored. — Legends of Iceland, by Powell 
and Magnusson, p. 159. 



THE FOLK-LORE OP SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 179 

ander Fraser went out barefoot across the Inverness-shire hills. The 
mother did not long survive the shock and the obloquy cast on her 
son's name, and they laid her head under the shadow of his deserted 
church. 

The penitent kept his vow, and reached the Sepulchre, where he 
fell down on his face, praying for pardon and forgiveness. Suddenly 
a light filled the place, and he lifted his face, streaming with tears, to 
hear a voice say, " I am Mary, and thy sins are forgiven of God ; go 
in peace." And Alexander Fraser arose, and rested not till his foot trod 
again the hills of Lochaber. He was a sore altered man when he 
came by the old place again ; grey was his beard, and his clothes 
hanging in rents, as he slouched and stooped in his gait. The house 
where his mother had lived he entered last. He had begged a trifling 
alms first in many others, aye asking who was the priest of the 
parish. " Their minister," they said, " had fallen in with the Evil 
One, and for five years had not been seen." A glance at his old 
house showed him that it was in a state of commotion ; he entered it 
by the kitchen door an eldritch-looking beggar, whom the serving- 
maids ordered out. They were preparing a wedding-feast. Their old 
mistress was dead, and their young one was to wed, on the morrow's 
morn, a certain Patrick Morrison. " Tell your mistress that there is 
a wanderer that wants word of her," and the maid went ben to Miss 
Betty's chamber, where she was sewing the wedding-clothes. 

" Tell the gaberlunzie that I cannot come for any but one, I am 
that busy in the house; but give him," she added, " a glass of wine 
to drink our health and luck." The wine was served to the beggar, 
who, when he had drunk it, slipped off a ring he wore into the glass, 
and returned that to Miss Betty's message. At the sight of the ring 
Miss Betty fainted. When she came to herself, she ran to the 
kitchen, where the ragged strange man sat. " The mischief ! the 
mischief!" she cried; "that took off my brother; put him out!" 
" Keep quiet, and you will, maybe, see your brother yet," he said. 
He told her what his errand had been 'and now was. Then he went 
upstairs and washed and shaved himself, and came down and sat with 
her, and put it all before her ; and that he had forgiveness given him 
at our Lord's grave. And syne he made the marriage between Miss 



180 THE FOLK-LOKE OF SUTHERLA.NDSHIRE. 

Betty Fraser and Patrick Morrison, and they lived happily all their 
days. 

[There is a trace here of the Indian legend of " Sakouthala."] 

xxii. — The Lost Wedding-Eing. 

It fell out once that in a little farmhouse one day the mistress and 
the maid were sifting meal in the morning, and that in the evening 
at supper the former perceived that her wedding-ring was missing. 
After due and unavailing search, she accused the lass of having stolen 
it, upbraiding her with the theft before the other servant, a farm lad 
who had long been courting her, and with whom she was (as my 
authority expresses it) " on terms of marriage." The ring could not 
be found. Appearances were against the girl. She lost her place, 
and well-nigh her lover, " for the word was that hard against her " 
that he felt unwilling to have his banns proclaimed with a thief. 
Perplexed and unhappy, he went for counsel to a wise or spae woman. 
She bid him be of good cheer, and go to bed in his house, and to 
sleep " till she got word of the ring.'' To bed he went, but not to 
sleep. An hour after, when she supposed him to be sound, the wise 
woman rose from her chair by the hearth, and began turning over the 
clothes he had taken off. After searching the pockets, which were 
empty, she took up the brace, or band for supporting his trews, and 
left the hut, quick as thought and unseen. The young man followed 
her to a flat beside the river, where " with words I cannot say, she 
fetched Him I dare not name." " Well, what is it now ? " said he, 
"andhe was just the Muscheef (mischief ), my dear." " Well," she said, 
and told how the lad was ill at ease after the ring, and the poor lassie 
set by as a thief, " an' what do you say about the ring?" " I say, 
that the ring is just in the meal-gurnel ; it fell in while they were 
sifting in the morning. Let them sift it again." So far, so good, 
thought the lover ; but the wise woman and her friend had not finished 
their say. " An' what will I get for this ? " said the mischief. ''You 
will get him that is the fill of this " (or that this holds), showing him 
the waistband 

The ring was found as predicted, and the girl's character cleared, 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIKE. 181 

but the last sentences rung in her betrothed's ears ; and this time he 
selected for his adviser a wise man. '^ Au ! what can I do to be rid 
of the ill thing ? " he asked, eyeing the band askance. " Take you 
the brace," quoth the wizard, "and go back to the river side; tie it 
round a tree, and cut a cross in the tree, then kneel you down, and 
say, ' May the Lord God Almighty bless me, and make me free of 
the ill word and the ill thing.' " He did as he was bid, and next 
morning the tree, split open, lay by the water side. The curse had 
passed on to it, and the couple, who were married the next week, 
lived long and happily all their lives. — (Peggy Munroe.) 

xxiii. — An Erse Version op Jack the Giant Killer, called 
The Giant and the Little Herd. 

The giant appeared to the little herd-boy, and threatened to kill 
him ; but the boy gave him to understand he had better not, as he 
was, though small, very strong, and an enchanter, and that if the giant 
ate him he would make him very ill. The giant did not quite believe 
him, and taking up a stone which he ground to powder by closing his 
hand on it, bid the herd do the same, or he would make short work 
with him. Our little friend had a lump of curds in his pocket, which 
he contrived to roll in dust, till it looked like a stone ; pressing it 
between his fingers, a stream of whey run out through them. The 
next trial was with the heavy hammer, which the giant threw to an 
immense distance, telling the would-be enchanter that unless he could 
match that he would blow his brains out. " I suppose," said the boy, 
*' you have no regard for the hammer, and don't care whether you 
ever see it again or not?" "What do you mean?" growled the 
giant. " I mean that if I take up the hammer it goes out of sight 
in the twinkling of an eye, and into the sea." " I beg you will let 
the hammer alone, then, for it was my great-grandfather's -Aammer," 
replied the giant, and they were both pleased with the bargain. Then 
followed the hasty-pudding feat (called brose and brochen here), and 
the experiment with the black-pudding, which the boy had -inside his 
jacket, and which ran blood when he pierced it. The giant, trying to 
imitate him, plunged a knife into himself and died, as may be seen in 

Vol. 6.— Part 3. o 



182 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

all carefully compiled books . for the use of young persons.— (D. 
Murray, Skibo,) 

[The opening of tlie tale, and tlie deatlis of Comoran and Blunder- 
bore, as told in our children's books, are all unknown here, and the 
whole thing as found in Sutherland more nearly resembles the Scan- 
dinavian story of "The Giant and the Herd Boy," given in Thorpe's 
Yule Tide Stories (Bohn's library edition), but, as will be seen, it 
incorporates with that some of the features of our Jack.] 



xxiv. — The Herds of Glen Guar. 

A wild and romantic glen in Strath Carron is called Glen Craig. 
It was through this that a woman was once passing, carrying an infant 
wrapped in her plaid. Below the path, overhung with weeping 
birches, and nearly opposite, ran a very deep ravine known as Gleii 
Ouar, or the Dun Glen. The child, not yet a year old, and which 
had not yet spoken, or attempted to speak, suddenly addressed her 
thus : — 

" I' leanvar vo mhoal ouar 
(Le lavidh na ghoul) 
Himig meisli a che bloau 
An's a gleana ouar ad palla, 
Gun chu, gun duinie 
Gun chain, gun gillie, 
Ach aon duinie 

Ajus e lea " 

Or— 

" (Many is the dun hummel cow, each having a calf.) 
I have seen milked 
In the opposite dun glen 
Without the aid of dog, 
Or man, or woman, or gillie, 
One man excepted, 
And he grey " 

The good woman, terrified and grieved, flung down child and plaid, 
and ran home, where, to her great joy, her baby Jay smiling in his 
cradle. Some frolicsome spirit had played her the trick, and returned 
the infant to the cottage.— (D. Murray, Skibo.) 



THE FOLK-LOKE OF SUTHERLANDSHIKE. 183 

xxvi, — The Unwelcome Guest. 
(Told on a New Year's Eve thirty-six years ago, to D. M., in Gaelic.) 

In the good old times the New Year's festivities were kept up for 
eleven days together. A long time ago a funeral took place in the 
churchyard of Dornoch, on a New Year's day. In the churchyard 
it was, therefore, that on this occasion invitations were given and 
received. It happened that they were so by all the men attending 
the funeral, with the exception of one, who was left, when the others 
moved off, standing alone and crest-fallen among the green graves of 
his forbears. His attention was attracted to a human skull, lying 
blackening on the- surface of " the strangers' burying-ground." He 
went up to it, and, hitting it with his staff, addressed it thus : — "Thou 
seemest to be forsaken and uncared for, like myself. I have been 
hidden by none, neither have I invited any — I now invite thee." 
The poor man then walked home, where he arrived as the long mid- 
winter's night closed in, and found his wife on the look-out for him 
and for any guests he might have brought with him. Soon after they 
had sat down to dinner, a venerable old man, dressed in greyish 
clothes, entered the room in the most perfect silence, took his seat at 
the table and his share of the viands under which it groaned; indeed, 
it was amply spread with the food used in the good old times, — mutton, 
venison, kippered salmon, and oat-bannocks, which had been baked 
on a red-hot flag-stone, and mixed with eggs, caraway seeds, &c., 
made from barley-malt. After the meal, the old man, rising, departed 
without having spoken a word. In the same way he repeated his 
visits for six nights. At last the host became alarmed and uneasy ; 
as he had been indeed from the beginning convinced that the stranger 
belonged to the other world. He accordingly asked the priest's advice 
as to how he was to get rid of the unwelcome guest. The reverend 
father bade him, in laying the bannocks in the basket for the seventh 
day's supper, reverse the last-baked one. This, he assured him, 
would induce the old man to speak. 

That night the old grey man perceived it on entering. He did not 
sit down, as usual, but said as follows : — " I now see, oh, friend ! that 

o2 



184 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

you are tired of me, before the end of the New Year's festival. I 
now invite you to spend the remainder of it with me in the kirk-yard. 
I go before you, and will await your coming : on your peril do not 
fail." 

Mine host went again and craved the priest's advice, whose counsel 
was to proceed. This he did, with a trembling step, while from every 
pore a cold sweat distilled. On reaching the churchyard, he there 
saw a great house, illuminated in its many windows, while sounds of 
music and dancing met his ears. The savoury odours issuing from 
the kitchen soon reminded him that he had had no dinner that day : 
his fears vanished, and he felt hungry. The grey old man received 
him at the door, led him into a large room, beautifully decorated, 
where a numerous company was assembled. The old man, disappear- 
ing then, left him to enjoy himself for the evening, which he did — 
eating, drinking, piping and dancing. After a short time the grey 
master of the house entered, and said to him that the entertainment 
was at an end, and that he must make the best of his way back. 
" Surely not yet. I have been but for a few hours, and I kept you 
for days." The other replied: "Hasten home, or your wife will be 
married to another ; in parting, let me give you this advice : never 
take liberties, using disrespectful words or actions to the remains of 
the dead." Having said so, the grey old man, the guests, the house, 
and all that it contained, vanished, leaving our hero standing alone in 
the churchyard-grass, and so fatigued that he could hardly crawl back 
in the moonshine. 

When he neared his own house he again heard the sound of music 
and dancing ; and, on opening the door, the first thing that met his 
sight was his wife, in a bride's dress. She swooned away immediately ; 
the piper flung down his pipes and bolted through the window; the 
would-be bridegroom scrambled up the chimney ; the wedding-guests ^ 
made for the door, or hid under the bed, and the husband and wife — 
called back from her faint, — were left alone to make their mutual 
explanations. It seemed he had been away a year and a day ; and 
that is the time within which widows are restricted from making a 
second marriage. 

It was some time before tiie man recovered from the fatigue of a 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 185 

year spent in dancing, or the wife wholly got over her fright ; but I 
am assured they lived happily ever after ; saw their great-great-grand- 
children; and that their descendants are scattered through the 
country to this day.--(D. M., gamekeeper.) 

xxvii. — The Stupid Boy. 
Part l.^The Nine Yards. 

There lived once on a time in Sutherland a widow, who had one 
son, and he was a very stupid boy ; so stupid that he could not be 
trusted out of sight, and that he had no idea how to buy or sell. One 
day his mother had nine yards of home-spun to sell ; and there was a 
market within a few miles of her, at which she wished to show it for 
sale ; but she could not go herself, and had no one to send but her 
son, and she thought a great deal how she was to prevent him doing 
something stupid with it, and being cheated. At last she thought 
that as the fair lasted three days she might send him every day with 
three yards, and that he could not go far wrong in getting a price for 
so small a quantity. So she sent him off with the first three, and 
charged him to bring it home if he did not get plenty of bidders and 
a long price for it. Nobody at the fair noticed the stupid boy and 
his little bundle ; and he was turning to go home when a butcher met 
him, and asked him if he would sell the three yards of cloth. The 
boy said it was for sale, if he could get anything for it. " I will give 
you the two best things you ever saw in your life," said the butcher, 
and pulled out of his pocket a mouse and a bee. Presently the bee 
began to fiddle, and the mouse to dance, and they were the strangest 
pair you ever saw. " Done," cried the stupid boy, and hastened home 
to his mother with the mouse and the bee. When she saw for what 
he sold her stuff she was so angry that she flogged him soundly. 
Next day, however, she told him to take the next three yards and sell 
them better than the first, or that she would give him a terrible 
thrashing, and bread and water for a week. 

Our stupid boy came to the fair, and began looking about for the 
butcher again, like a goose that he was. Very soon he saw him 
coming. *' Have you any more homespun to sell to-day, my little 



186 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

friend ?" said he. Then the boy let him have the three yards more, 
for what do you think ? — for a long, leather string, that would tie of 
its own accord, and a stick (''plochan") used for stirring brose, that 
beat of its own accord. " They will do to serve my mother out," said 
the stupid boy. When he got home, she began to be very angry at 
being cheated for the second time, but the tie soon held her, and the 
stick gave her such a thrashing that she was too ill and frightened to 
say another word. 



Part II. — The Stupid Boy and the Three Laughs. 

Now there lived in those days a rich man, who had an only 
daughter, and she was a very stupid girl ; so stupid that she sat like 
a lump and thought, and never had laughed in her life. And the 
father said he would not give her in marriage to any one unless the 
bridegroom could make her laugh three times. 

And it came to pass, when the stupid boy, who had grown to be a 
man, heard that, he asked his mother's leave to go and try if he could 
not make the stupid girl laugh. She said he might try, for the girl 
was to be rich, and he was stupid enough to make the cat laugh in 
the fire-corner. " "Well, we will see that," and he went to the house 
where the girl lived. Soon after he came in he put the mouse and the 
bee down on the table, and whistled to them till the one began to 
pipe, and the other to dance, and when the grave girl (who was very 
pretty, with snow-white skin and eyes like sloes) saw them she 
clapped her hands and laughed for a quarter of an hour. Her father 
clapped his hands and cried, " Well done," and " Do it again." 

Now, you must know, that though her father was vexed all his life 
to see her sit like a stone, her mother — who was rather a dull woman 
too — did not mind it, and was very anxious that she should marry a 
rich, fat old man, whom her father thought as stupid as the boy and 
the girl put together. 

So it was, that next night, when the boy came to the house, he 
found the other lover sitting at the table, and the mother filling him 
with bread and cheese and fine words, and the girl sitting by like a 
stone. When our stupid boy saw him, he pulled the leather string 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 187 

and the "plochan" out of his pocket; and the string tied the fat 
man, and the porridge-stick beat him, till he roared for mercy. Then 
the girl clapped her hands and laughed till her sides ached. 

Next morning the mother sent for both the lovers. She told the 
boy that he was a rogue, and would come to be hung, as he deserved, 
and that he should never have her daughter ; but she said to the old 
man that he might have the girl, and that the wedding should be 
that very evening. 

But the stupid boy was determined not to be beat, so he came to 
the window quietly, and put the bee in. The bee stung the man in 
the face, so that he ran about, holding his hands to his head, and the 
girl sat opposite him and laughed till the tears ran down her face ; 
and every time she looked at the fat old man's swelled nose and eyes 
she began again. Her father heard the noise, and came in, when he 
saw lier not able to speak for laughing. He was so delighted that he 
said no one should have her but the stupid boy that had made her 
laugh three times. So they were married next day, and lived happily 
all their lives after.— (D. E., forester, Loch Stack Lodge.) 

[Of this story a very similar version is told in Argyllshire.] 

xxviii. — The Master Thief. 

[This was twenty or thirty years ago a common school-boy's tale. 
I have tried in vain to get it written down in Gaelic, but they tell it 
with all that is in the Norwegian version, and more besides, such as 
the theft of some rabbits (how performed I cannot hear), and that 
of a lot of calves. The master thief stole these for the robbers by 
imitating in the woods and upland pastures the cry of their milky 
mothers.] 

xxix. — A Legend of Loch Spynie. 

There was a gentleman in Morayshire, at one time, who had learnt 
witchcraft in the school of black art in Italy. On one occasion he 
ordered his coachman to drive him, in his carriage and four horseS; 
across Loch Spynie, on the ice of one night's frost. Loch Spynie was 
very deep at that time. The wizard charged a pair of pistols in the 



188 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

coaclimaTi's presence, telling him that he would be shot dead if he 
looked back when on the ice. 

On they went, on the thin ice, and as soon as the leaders had their 
fore-feet on dry land the coachman looked back, and saw " twa black 
craws " on the front of the coach. The ice immediately gave way, 
and down went the carriage and wheelers ; but the leaders, being very 
powerful animals, dragged them all to land. 

The powder in the pistols got wet, and would not burn, which saved 
the coachman's life. 

The crows were two familiar imps or devils.— (J. Rose, Skibo.) 

XXX.— The Bogie Eoschan,* or Robin-Goodfellow. 

There is a sprite, who is very easy and good-natured to those that are 
civil to him. 

Once upon a time, in the middle of winter, a man was walking from 
Tain to Assynt with a basket on his back, which was full of bottles of 
wine. At a bridge he meets the sprite, who offers to carry the basket 
for him. Well, they walked on together till they came to Loch 
Assynt, where the sprite says they had better sit down at the side of 
the loch. This they did, and the bogie began to take out the bottles 
of wine, and roll them one after the other over the ice for mischief, 
because the ice was only of two nights' frost ; and though it carried 
the bottles, would not bear a man's weight. Says the man then to 
the hobgoblin, " Since you have sent out the bottles, you will have to 
get them back, or I shall be in trouble." ' 

" Since you are so good-natured about it, I will do that same," said 
the sprite, and he gathered all the bottles into the creel again, and 
the two men went on their way. The man soon asked the hobgoblin 
if he ever did any harm, saying that he seemed very obliging. 
" Well," said the other, " since you have asked me, I will tell you all 
the harm that ever I did. At Tallachie there was a servant lass that 
angered me with aye saying she had seen me, and telling lies on me, 
and she never saw me but once, and that once I broke her leg for her 
pains." "And did you ever do anymore tricks?" " I thrashed (\ 
* Some pronounce it like Badcrroschun. 



CHARMS AND SPELLS AT GRETNA. 189 

thief once that had stolen a pack-saddle, and I whipped him all the way- 
back with it." '« And anything more ? " " There was a dog at a 
botliie that I killed, for he barked at me, and would not let me lie in 
the stack, but that is the truth (fenina), and all the ill I have done 
since I came to this place." 

( To he continued. ) 




CHARMS AND SPELLS AT GEETNA. 

Communicated by William George Black, F.S.A.Scot. 

HE following curious passages have been transcribed by 
Mr, George Neilson, Solicitor, Glasgow, from the Kirk 
Session Records of the parish of Gretna, and will, 1 think, 
be interesting to Members of the Folk-Lore Society. 

Graitney Kirk, Feb. 11, 1733. 
Session met after Sermon. 

It was represented by some of the members that the 
Charms and Spells used at Watshill for Francis Arm- 
strong, Labouring under distemper of mind, gave great offence, and 
'twas worth while to enquire into the affair and publickly admonish 
the people of the evil of such a course that a timely stop may be put 
to such a practice. 

Several of the members gave account that in Barbara 
^J^^' ^P''^!® Armestrang's they burned Rowantree snd Salt, they took 

Armstrong three Locks of Francis's hair, three pieces of his shirt, 

was married , , l c j j.i £ j. j.i, • 

toMar:Birrel. three roots oi wormwood, three oi mugwort, three pieces 

of Rowantree, and boiled alltogether, anointed his Legs 

with the water and essayed to put three sups in his mouth, and meantime 

kept the door close, being told by Isabel Pott, at Cross, in Rockcliflf, 

Wise* 

commonly called the - Woman, that the person who had wronged 

* Interlined as in original. 



190 CHARMS AND SPELLS AT GRETNA. 

him would come to the door, but no access was to be given. Francis, 
tho' distracted, told them they were using witchcraft and the Devil's 
Charms that would do no good. 

It is said they carried a candle around the bed for one 

Isabel Pot p^j.^ q£ ^j^q inchantment, John Neilson, in Sarkbridge, 
some time ^ > o j 

after was declared before the Session this was matter of fact 
Esk. others then present. Mary Tate, Servant to John 

Neilson in Sarkbridge, is to be cited as having gone to 
the Wise woman for the Consultation. 

Graitney Kirk, Feb. 25, 1733. 
Session met after Sermon. 

Mary Tate having been summoned, was called on, & compearing 
confessed that She had gone to Isabel Pot in the Parish of Rockclifif, 
and declared that the s*^ Isabell ordered South running water to be 
Lifted in the name of Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, and to be boiled 
at night in the house where Francis Armstrong was, with nettle roots, 
wormwood, mugwort, southernwood, and rowantree, and his hands, 
Legs, & temples be streaked therewith, and three sups to be put in 
his mouth, and withal to keep the door close: She ordered also three 
locks of his hair to be burnt in the fire with three pieces dipt out of 
his shirt, and a Slut, i.e. a rag dipt in tallow, to be lighted and carried 
round his bed, and all to be kept secret except from near friends : 
Mary Tate declared that the said Francis would allow none to touch 
him but her, and at last Helen Armestrang, Spouse to Archibald 
Crichton, Elder, assisted her, and after all the said Francis, tho' 
distracted, told them they were using witchcrafts & the Devil's 
Charms that would do no good : Mary Tate being admonished of the 
Evil of such a course was removed: Notwithstanding her acknow- 
ledgements of her fault she is to be suspended a sacris, and others her 
accomplices, and that none hereafter pretend Ignorance the Congrega- 
tion is to be cautioned against such a practice from the Pulpit. 



191 




DAFYDD WILLIAM DAFYDD AND THE 

FAIRIES. 

HE following story was related by Mr. Howel Walters, of 
Ystradgynlais, to Mr, G. L. Gomme and myself on 
Whitsun Monday last. Mr. Walters had heard it from 
John Williams, late of Penrheol, Ystradgynlais, who 
died the year before last, aged 94 : — 

" There was a person of the name of Dafydd William Dafydd living 
at Bryngrainen farm, Palleg, Ystradgynlais. lie was a very religious 
man, fond of music, and a good player on the flute. One day he 
went out as usual to see after his cattle and sheep on the adjoining 
mountain, to a place called Llorfa, near the Van Pool. He often 
went up there to play the flute. This day, as usual, he took his flute 
with him ; and he did not return home that evening. His wife called 
together her friends, and said Dafydd had not come home. They 
went looking for him that night and the day after, and for many 
days. They dragged all the pools in the rivers, and made a great 
search for him, but could not find him, nor any account of his where- 
abouts. His wife and friends at last made up their minds he had 
come to some sad end. However, in about three weeks after Dafydd 
came home, about five o'clock one evening, to the great surprise of 
his wife, who had given up all hope of ever seeing him again. She 
asked him where he had been instead of coming home as usual; and 
he was quite as much surprised to hear the question, for, as he 
thought, there was nothing unusual for him to be out of the house for 
only a few hours. He inquired why she asked. His. wife said : 
' Where have you been for the past three weeks ? ' * Three weeks ! 
Is it three weeks you call three hours ? ' said Dafydd. His wife told 
him they had been looking everywhere for him, but could get no clue 
to him, and pressed him to say where he had been. At last he told 



192 DAFYDD WILLIAM DAFYDD AND THE FAIRIES. 

her that while playing on his flute at the Llorfa he was surrounded at 
a good distance off by little beings like men, who closed nearer and 
nearer to him until they became a very small circle. They sang and 
danced, and so affected him that he quite lost himself. They offered 
him something to eat, — small, beautiful cakes, of which he partook ; 
and he had never enjoyed himself so well in his life." 

Mr. Walters states that John Williams declared that in his youth 
he knew Dafydd well ; and it was useless to try to persuade Williams 
that the adventure above related was not a fact, for he would always 
reply that Dafydd was a very religious man, and he did not believe he 
would say what was not true. 

There is little calling for remark in this version of a well-known 
story. The incident of the cakes, however, may be noticed. In 
general, when the hero of a folk-tale gets into the power of super- 
natural beings in the under-world he must be careful not to partake of 
any food which is offered him if he desire to return. But Dafydd, 
though he had fallen into the hands of the Tylwyth Teg, and become 
for the time invisible to human eyes, had not reached the under- 
world, their dwelling-place. This may account for his escape ; and 
careful search should be made among Welsh and other Celtic legends 
for parallels. There is a Chinese story, given by Dr. Dennys in his 
Folk-Lore of China, page 98, which is told of Wang Chih, one of the 
patriarchs of the Taoist sect : — ■' Wandering one day in the moun- 
tains of Kii Chow to gather firewood he entered a grotto in which 
some aged men were seated intent upon a game of chess. He laid 
down his axe and looked on at their game, in the course of which one 
of the old men handed him a thing in shape and size like a date- 
stone, telling him to put it into his mouth. No sooner had he tasted 
it than he became oblivious of hunger and thirst. After some time 
had elapsed, one of the players said : ' It is long since you came here 
you should go home now ! ' whereupon Wang Chih, proceeding to 
pick up his axe, found that its handle had mouldered into dust. On 
repairing to his home he found that centuries had passed since the 
time when he left it for the mountains, and that no vestige of his 
kinsfolk remained." It is obvious here that the effect of time on 
Wang Chih had been counteracted by the sweetmeat, since the axe 



SOME SPECIMENS OF AINO FOLK-LORE. 193 

which he had laid down, and which was no longer in contact with his 
body, still remained subject to it. The same action seems attributable 
to Dafydd's fairy cakes. In another Chinese story mentioned by Dr. 
Dennys two friends who have lost their way in the T'ien T'ai moun- 
tains are entertained, during seven generations of men, in a fairy 
retreat by two beautiful girls and fed on hemp. Can it be that the 
notorious effects of this and similar drugs in producing dreams, 
wherein the relations of time are altogether confounded, may have had 
something to do with the origin of tales like these ? Or, given the 
independent existence of the legend, has the dream-producing quality 
of hemp caused the introduction of the drug in this one instance ? 
This hypothesis appears to me the more reasonable ; but Gruppe, 
perhaps, might make something of the other. 

E. Sidney Hartland. 




SOME SPECIMENS OF AINO FOLK-LOEE. 

By the Rev. J. Batchelor. 

N interesting paper on the above subject was recently read 
before the Asiatic Society of Japan at Tokyo. These 
specimens had been taken down as they were sung, 
chanted, or recited by the Aino bard or story-teller. In 
all, seven legends were given in the original Aino, accompanied by a 
literal translation and commentary. The first was the legend of a 
famine, which Mr. Batchelor seemed to think was kept alive simply 
to show how good a thing is wine. The second legend also bore upon 
the same subject of famine, and had a somewhat curious moral to the 
effect that, as the gods had, in extending food to the Aino race, 
shown that they had been pleased by offerings of wine and inao 
(whittled wood), why then should the form of religion be changed? 



194 SOME SPECIMENS OF AINO FOLK-LORE. 

The third legend was an account of a great trout that quite filled a 
large lake, and proved such a scourge to the people of Aino-land that 
the gods at last took pity, and, descending, killed it. It is to the 
action of such a fish that the Ainos refer all earthquakes, the land 
indeed being supposed to rest on its back. The fourth legend relates 
how Okikurumi and Samai (that is, as Mr. Batchelor believes, Yosh- 
itsune and his servant Benkei) harpooned a large sword-fish, and, 
after long struggling, finally conquered it. The tale seems intended 
to preserve the fame of Yoshitsune as a benefactor to the Ainos, and 
point the moral that a new comer or stranger should not be despised. 
The fifth legend tells of Yoshitsune in love — how, through taking just 
one glance at a beautiful woman, he got exceedingly love-sick, retired 
to his hut in sullen despair, and would not be comforted. "Though 
two bad fish and two good fish were put before him he could not eat." 
The news of his condition is brought to the beautiful woman by a 
water- wagtail, which called upon her to have mercy upon Aino-land; 
for, if Yoshitsune should die, the soul of Aino-land will depart. So 
an unreal woman is made in the likeness of the beauty, and introduced 
into the hero's hut, where she proceeds to put things in order. "Then 
Yoshitsune looked through his sleeve and saw the beautiful woman. 
He got up greatly rejoiced, he ate some food, strength came back to 
his body, and the woman was gone. Yoshitsune saw he had been 
deceived, but there was nothing to be done, and nothing to say, so he 
got well." The moral the Aino draws is, " Be not too easily deceived 
by woman's love, for it soon passes away like a mere unsubstantial 
phantom or shadow," The sixth legend recounts the exploit of 
Yoshitsune and his wife in cutting down a "metal pine-tree" which 
had resisted all the strokes of the Aino ancients. The moral the 
Aino teach from it is, let not the younger laugh at the elder, for the 
very old people can teach their juniors a great deal, even in so simple 
a tnatter as felling trees. 

The seventh legend was of a very different style from the preceding 
ones. It was called by a name which indicated the subject-matter, 
whereas the titles of the others all seemed to refer to the tune or tone 
in which the legend was chanted. To the philologist the legend was 
especially interesting, as it contains many old and now disused words. 



SOME SPECIMENS OF AINO FOLK-LORE. 195 

The younger Aino indeed require to be specially tauglit by their elders 
before they can understand the allusions and idioms which occur in 
this and other legends of a like character. Old men listen with rapt 
attention to the recital of this really exciting tale, so pathetic and 
graphic as it is in the original — qualities, however, which are much 
lost in the translation. The title Poiyaumhe means literally " little 
beings residing on the soil " — " little " being probably meant to 
express endearment or admiration. The heroes of the people seem to 
be meant, or simply the brave Aino. The tale is one of invasion and 
war. The enemy invade the land in the form of deer, male and 
female, a large speckled buck, speckled even to its horns, leading the 
male herd, and a speckled doe leading the female. The reciter, who 
is aided by his younger sister and elder brother, sends a poisoned 
arrow into the thickest of the herd, slaying multitudes with one shot. 
The speckled buck took then his true form of a man, and a fierce 
duel followed between the two. Meanwhile both the brother and 
sister were slain by the woman who had been the doe, and, in the 
quaint phrase of the Aino, "rode upon the setting sun." The malig- 
nant man and bad woman then set fiercely upon the Aino, who, after 
vanquishing the latter, swooned under a blow from the former. On 
his recovery he set out to discover the path by which the deer had 
been seen to come, and after six days' travelling came to a tall 
mountain with a beautiful house built on its summit. Descending — 
for his path had always been through the air — by the side of the 
house, and looking through the chinks of the door, he_saw a little 
man and a little woman sitting beside the fireplace. At the request 
of the man the woman proceeds to prophecy. She tells of the fight 
that had just been in the distant land, and of the victory of the single 
Poiyaumbe over their elder brother, who had without cause been the 
aggressor. She cannot clearly see what is next to happen, but there 
is clashing of swords and spurting forth of blood. As she ends her 
prophecy the Aino enters, fiercely curses the Sematuye man and his 
people, and chases him about the house with intent to kill. The noise 
attracts the multituile, who swarm as thick as flies, but are mown 
down like grass. The little woman curses her people for their wicked- 
ness in attacking the Poiyaumbe without a cause, and throws in her 



196 FOLK-LORE OF TIJE SENECA INDIANS. ♦ 

lot with the stranger. Side by side they fight until all are slain, the 
little Sematuye man last of all. 

Among the Aino there are still prophets and prophetesses, who 
limit their powers now, however, to telling the cause of illness, pre- 
scribing medicine, charming away sickness, and such like. A person 
when prophesying is supposed to sleep or otherwise lose consciousness, 
and to become, so to speak, the mouth-piece of the gods. The 
prophet is not even supposed to know what he himself utters, and 
often the listeners cannot understand the meaning of the utterances. 
The burden of prophecy sometimes comes out in jerks, but more often 
in a kind of sing-song monotone. It is difficult to imagine a more 
solemn scene than that of an Aino prophet prophesying, as once wit- 
nessed by Mr. Batchelor. Absolute silence reigned around, old men 
with grey beards sitting with eyes full of tears, in rapt attention, the 
prophet himself, apparently quite carried away with his subject, 
trembling, perspiring profusely, and beating himself with his hands. 
At length he finished exhausted ; though, as he opened his eyes for a 
moment, they shone with a wild light. 



FOLK-LOEE OF THE SENECA INDIANS 
OF NORTH AMERICA. 

Bv John Wentworth Sanborn. 

|HE Seneca Indians relate to their children a great number 
of tales, weird, ingeniously constructed, and interwoven 
with which are the customs and manners of the tribe. 
These tales they do not, for superstitious considerations, 
tell when snakes are about. In the long winter evenings a story- 
teller, whom some family secures for the occasion — and he must be 




FOLK-LORE OF THE SENECA INDIANS. 197 

one of the regularly appointed story-tellers of the tribe — croons out 
the legendary lore to an interested company of old and young gathered 
for the evening. Each person pays tribute to the story-teller: one 
presenting an ear of corn, another an apple, a third a potatoe, until 
all have contributed. In return for making translations into the 
Seneca tongue of hymns and other matter, the writer was adopted 
into the tribe with imposing ceremony, and given the name of 
0-yo-ga-weh, signifying " Clear sky," and honoured by the Indian 
council with the narration, by the official story-teller, of the legends 
of the tribe. I subjoin one of the tales. 

The Man who became a Bear. 

A little boy lived in a bark-house with an old man who called the 
boy his nephew. The boy was a good hunter, and he kept the old 
man well supplied with bear's-meat. 

Growing older, the boy wandered every day at a greater distance 
from the wigwam, and the old man said, "My nephew, do not go far 
to the north, it will not be safe." " What can uncle mean by that ? 
"Why didn't he tell me why I should not go that way ? I will be 
careful, but I will go that way. I will know the reason." 

So he started, not meaning to run into any danger, but only to 
learn why the old uncle cautioned him. He found all kinds of game 
in plenty, and was allured by the game to go a great distance. 
Suddenly he discovered what to him was very strange, the track of a 
great bear ; so large and heavy was the bear that at every step his 
great weight pressed his foot deep down into the earth, and so fat 
was he that the footprints were filled with oil from the bear's leg. " I 
will follow this wonderful track," said the boy, " and kill this great 
bear." 

The track appeared to be lately made, for the weeds which the bear 
trod down were slowly straightening themselves up again. He 
followed the track, forgetting, in his eagerness, all about the old man 
in the wigwam far away, and at length came to a bark-house which 
contained a large family, and among them quite a number of girls. 
He asked an old woman when the bear went by the house and on to 

Vol. 6. — Part 3. p 



198 FOLK-LORE OF THE SENECA INDIANS. 

the forest, and she replied, pointing to the youngest, " When that 
girl was a baby; but the animal is not a bear, it is a man." 

" She is a foolish old woman. She does not know a bear from a 
man," said the nephew to himself. " I know it is a bear's track, and 
I will follow it." 

In his journeying he reached another house, and saw an old man, 
and asked, " When did the great bear go past ? " And the man 
answered, " That is the track of your own uncle who went past. He 
made the track to catch your attention. He will be glad to see you. 
I moved into this house when he made the track that I might have 
this oil to eat on my corn-bread." 

" I know it is a bear's track and not a man's," muttered the boy to 
himself. 

He continued to foUow the great track, and in a few hours reached 
another house where the track seemed to end. Near the house there 
was a deep ravine, and not far off a lake. 

Stopping at the door, he asked, "When did the great bear go past? 
I am after him, and am going to shoot him." 

The man in the house said, " My nephew, you have at last come 
home and I am glad. I made that track when you were a little boy. 
I made it and filled it with oil to catch your mind and lead you home. 
That old man who told you not to go to the north stole you away from 
this house when you were twelve moons * old. I wanted to show you 
the way home, so I made the track. The old man will come for you, 
but he shall not have you. I will command my house to become a 
stone house, and he cannot hurt you." 

****** 

The old man in the wilderness wondered what had become of the 
boy. He feared that his orders were disobeyed, and that the boy had 
found the track. So he started very early in the morning to look 
him up. He saw the boy's track near the track of the bear. " Yes, my 
nephew has surely found out why I told him not to go to the north; 
I will follow him. But first I will change into a grizzly bear, and he 
will see me and be afraid, and I can catch him." The old man 
accordingly turned into a bear and started on the run. Eeaching the 
* A " moon " is a month in Indian reckoning. 



THE THREE LEMONS. 199 

first bark-house he halted, and asked if the boy had gone past ; he 
was told that he had. He hurried on, and inquired at the next house, 
and they told him that the boy had gone along. Soon he reached the 
house where the boy was. When the boy's own uncle saw the bear 
approaching, he said to his bark-house, " Let my house become a 
stone ! " and it turned into one the shape of a mound, and there was 
a very small hole for an entrance. The uncle and nephew remained 
within. 

The bear said, " You have my boy, and now let us decide by a fight 
who shall have him. You come out here and we will fight." " No, 
you come into the house if you want to fight," said the uncle, and the 
boy laughed. 

The bear became very angry at this, and put his paw into the 
entrance and tried to open it wider, but he could not do it. 

The uncle lighted a pine-knot and set fire to the bear's paw. The 
bear withdrew his paw and tried to brush off the fire with the other 
paw, but his fur was so oily that, instead of putting the fire out, he 
set fire to the other paw. He ran to the lake and plunged into it, 
but the lake was not water, it was oil, and he set it all afire, and was 
consumed in it. 

The house became a bark-house again, and the uncle went to the 
lake and blew out the fire. 

They lived together in happiness, fished, and trapped, and hunted, 
and had all good things in abundance. 



THE THREE LEMONS. 

(From the " Slovenish of North Hungary :" J. Rimarski's Slovenckje 

Povesti, i. 37.) 

HERE was once upon a time an old king who had an only 
son. This son he one day summoned before him, and 
spoke to him thus : '' My son, you see that my head has 
become white ; ere long I shall close my eyes, and I do 
not yet know in what condition I shall leave you. Take a wife, my 

p 2 




200 THE THREE LEMONS. 

son ! Let me bless you in good time, before I close my eyes." The 
son made no reply, but became lost in thought. He would gladly 
with all his heart have fulfilled his father's wish, but there was no 
damsel in whom his heart could take delight. 

Once upon a time when he was sitting in the garden, and just 
considering what to do, all of a sudden an old woman appeared before 
him. Where she came, there she came. " Go to the glass hill, pluck 
the three lemons, and you will have a wife in whom your heart will 
take delight," said she ; and as she had appeared, so she disappeared. 
Like a bright flash darted these words through the prince's soul. At 
that moment he determined, come what might, to seek the glass hill 
and pluck the three lemons. He made known his determination to 
his father, and his father gave him for the journey a horse, arms and 
armour, and his fatherly blessing. 

Through forest-covered mountains, through desert plains, went our 
prince on his pilgrimage for a very very great distance, but there was 
nothing to be seen, nothing to be heard of the glass hill and the three 
lemons. Once, quite wearied out with his long journey, he threw 
himself down in the cool shade of a broad lime-tree. As he threw 
himself down his father's sword, which he wore at his side, clanged 
against the ground, and a dozen ravens began croaking at the top of 
the tree. Frightened by the clang of the sword, they rose on their 
wings and flew into the air above the lofty tree. " Hem ! till now I 
haven't seen a living creature for a long while," said the prince to him- 
self, springing from the ground. " I will go in the direction in which 
the ravens have flown ; maybe some hope will disclose itself to me." 

He went on, he went on anew for three whole days and three 
nights, till at last a lofty castle displayed itself to him at a distance. 
" Praise be to God ! I shall not at any rate come to human beings," 
cried he, and proceeded further. 

The castle was of pure lead ; round it flew the twelve ravens, and 
in front of it stood an old woman : it was Jezibaba * leaning on a 
long leaden staff. " Ah ! my son ; whither have you come ? Here 
there is neither bird nor insect to be seen, much less a human being," 
said Jezibaba to the prince. " Flee, if life is dear to you ; for if my 

* Jezibaba represents winter. 



THE THREE LEMONS. 201 

son comes he will devour you." "Ah ! not so, old mother ! not so !" 
entreated the prince. " I have come to you for counsel as to whether 
you cannot let me have some information about the glass hill and the 
three lemons." " I have never heard of the glass hill ; but stay ! 
when my son comes home, maybe he will be able to let you have the 
information. But I will now conceal you somewhat ; you will hide 
yourself under the besom, and wait there concealed till I call you." 

The mountains echoed, the castle quaked, and Jezibaba whispered 
to the prince that her son was coming. " Fob ! fob ! there's a smell 
of human flesh. I am going to eat it ! " shouted Jezibaba's son, while 
still in the doorway, and thumped on the ground with a huge leaden 
club, so that the whole castle quaked. " Ah ! not so, my son ! not 
so ! " said Jezibaba, soothing him. " There has come a handsome 
youth, who wants to consult you about something." " Well, if he 
wants to consult me, let him come here." " Yes, indeed, my son, he 
shall come, but only on condition that you promise to do nothing to 
him." " Well, I'll do nothing to him, only let him come." 

The prince was trembling like an aspen under the besom, for he 
saw before him through the twigs an ogre, up to whose knees he 
did not reach. Happily his life was safeguarded when Jezibaba bade 
him come out from under the besom. " Well, you beetle, why are 
you afraid ? " shouted the giant. " Whence are you ? what do you 
want?" " What do I want ? " replied the prince. "I've long been 
wandering in these mountains, and can't find that which I am 
seeking ; now I've come to ask you whether you can't give me infor- 
mation about the glass hill and the three lemons." Jezibaba's son 
wrinkled his brow, but after a while said in a somewhat gentler 
voice, " There's nothing to be seen here of the glass hill ; but go to 
my brother in the silver castle, maybe he'll be able to tell you some- 
thing. But stay ! I won't let you go away hungry. Mother ! here 
with the dumplings." Old Jezibaba set a large dish upon the table, 
and her gigantic son sat down to it. " Come and eat ! " shouted he 
to the prince. The prince took the first dumpling, and began to bite, 
but two of his teeth broke, for they were dumplings of lead. " Well, 
why don't you eat? Maybe you don't like them?" inquired Jezi- 
baba's son, " Yes, they are good ; but I don't want any just now." 



202 THE THREE LEMONS. 

'' Well, if you don't want any now, pocket some, and go your way." 
The good prince, would he, nould he, was obliged to put some of the 
leaden dumplings into his pocket. He then took leave, and pro- 
ceeded further. 

On he went, and on he went for three whole days and three nights, 
and the further he went the deeper he wandered into a thickly 
wooded and gloomy range of mountains. Before him it was desolate, 
behind him it was desolate ; there was not a single living creature to 
be seen. All wearied from his long journey, he threw himself on the 
ground. The clang of his silver-mounted sword spread far and wide. 
Above him four-and-twenty ravens, frightened by the clash of his 
sword, began to croak, arising on their wings, flew into the air. " A 
good sign !" cried the prince. " I will go in the direction in which 
the birds have flown." 

And on he went in that direction; on he went as fast as his feet 
could carry him, till all at once a lofty castle displayed itself to him ! 
He was still far from the castle, and already the walls were glistening 
in his eyes, for the castle was of pure silver. In front of the castle 
stood an old woman, bent with age, leaning on a long, silver staff, and 
this was Jezibaba. "Ah! my son! How is it that you have come 
here? Here there is neither bird nor insect, much less a human 
being," cried Jezibaba to the prince : " if life is dear to you, flee away ! 
for if my son comes, he will devour you." " Nay, old mother ! he 
will hardly eat me ; I bring him a greeting from his brother in the 
leaden castle." " Well, if you bring a greeting from the leaden 
castle, then come into the parlour, my son, and tell me what you are 
seeking." " What I am seeking, old mother ? For ever so long a 
time I've been seeking the glass hill and the three lemons, and cannot 
find them : now I've come to inquire whether you can't give me infor- 
mation about them." " I know nothing about the glass hill; but 
stay ! when my son comes, maybe he will be able to give you the 
information. Hide yourself under the bed, and don't make yourself 
known without I call you." 

The mountains echoed with a mighty voice, the castle quaked, and 
the prince knew that Jezibaba's son was coming home. " Foh! foh ! 
there's a smell of human flesh, I'm going to eat it," roared a horrible 



THE THREE LEMONS. 203 

Ogre, already in the doorway, and thumped upon the ground with a 
silver club, so that the whole castle quaked. " Ah ! not so, my son, 
not so ; but a handsome youth has come, and has brought you a 
greeting from your brother in the leaden castle." " Well, if he's been 
at my brother's, and if he has done nothing to him, let him have no 
fear of me either ; let him come out." The prince sprang out from 
under the bed, went up to him — looking beside him as if he had 
placed himself under a very tall pine. " Well, beetle ! have you been 
at my brother's ? " " Indeed I have ; and here I've still the dumplings 
which he gave me for the journey." " Well, I believe you; now tell 
me what it is you want ?" " What I want ? I am come to ask you 
whether you can't give me information about the glass hill and the 
three lemons ? " "Hem! I've heard formerly about it, but I don't 
know how to direct you. Meanwhile, do you know what? Go to my 
brother in the golden castle, he will direct you. But stay ! I won't 
let you go away hungry. Mother ! here with the dumplings ! " Jezibaba 
brought the dumplings on a large silver dish, and set them on the 
table. " Eat ! " shouted her son. The prince, seeing that they were 
silver dumphngs, said that he didn't want to eat just then, but would 
take some for his journey, if he would give him them. " Take as 
many as you like, and greet my brother and aunt." The prince took 
the dumplings, thanked him courteously, and proceeded further. 

Three days had already passed since he quitted the silver castle, 
wandering continuously through densely wooded mountains, not know- 
ing which way to go, whether to the right hand or to the left. All 
wearied out, he threw himself down under a wide-spreading beach, to 
take a little breath. His silver-mounted sword clanged on the 
ground, and the sound spread far and wide. " Krr, krr, krr ! " croaked 
a flock of ravens, over the traveller, scared by the clash of his sword, 
and flew into the air. " Praise be to God ! the golden castle won't be 
far off now," cried the prince, and proceeded, encouraged, onwards, in 
the direction in which the ravens showed him the road. Scarcely had 
he come out of the valley on to a small hill when he saw a beautiful 
and wide meadow, and in the midst of the meadow stood a golden 
castle, just as if he were gazing at the sun, and before the gate of the 
castle stood an old, bent Jezibaba, leaning on a golden staff, " Ah ! 



204 THE THREE LEMONS. 

my son ! what do you seek for here?" cried she to the prince : " here 
there is neither bird nor insect to be seen, much less a human being. 
If your life is dear to you, flee ; for, if my son comes, he will devour 
you." " Nay, old mother ! he'll hardly eat me," replied he ; "I bring 
him a greeting from his brother in the silver castle." " Well, if you 
bring him a greeting from the silver castle, come into the parlour, and 
tell me what has brought you to us." " What has brought me to 
you, old mother ? I have long been wandering in this mountain- 
range, and haven't been able to find out where is the glass hill and the 
three lemons ; I was directed to you, because, haply, you might be 
able to give me information about it." " Where is the glass hill ? I 
cannot tell you that ; but stay ! when my son comes, he will counsel 
you which way you must go, and what you must do. Hide yourself 
under the table, and stay there till I call you." 

The mountains echoed, the castle quaked, and Jezibaba's son 
stepped into the parlour. " Foh ! foh ! there's a smell of human 
flesh ; I'm going to eat it ! " shouted he while still in the doorway, 
and thumped with a golden club upon the ground, so that the whole 
castle quaked. " Gently, my son ! gently ! " said Jezibaba, soothing 
him ; " there is a handsome youth come, who brings you a greeting 
from your brother in the silver castle. If you will do nothing to him, 
I will call him at once." " Well, if my brother has done nothing to 
him, neither will I do anything to him." The prince came out from 
under the table and placed himself beside him, looking in comparison 
as if he had placed himself beside a lofty tower, and showed him the 
silver dumplings in token that he had really been at the silver castle. 
" Well, tell me, you beetle, what you want? " shouted the monstrous 
ogre. " If I can counsel you, counsel you I will. Don't fear 1 " Then 
the prince explained to him the aim of his long journey, and begged 
him to advise him which way to go to the glass hill, and what he 
must do to obtain the three lemons. " Do you see that black knoll 
that looms yonder ? " said he, pointing with his golden club. " That 
is the glass hill. On the top of the hill stands a tree, and on the tree 
hang three lemons, whose scent spreads seven miles round. You will 
go up the glass hill, kneel under the tree, and hold up your hands. If 
the lemons are destined for you they will fall off into your hands of 



THE THREE LEMONS. 205 

themselves ; but if they are not destined for yon, you will not pluck 
them whatever you do. When you are on your return, and are hungry 
or thirsty, cut one of the lemons into halves, and you will eat and 
drink your fill. And now go, and God be with you ! But stay ! I 
won't let you go hungry. Mother, here with the dumplings ! " 
Jezibaba set a large golden dish on the table. " Eat ! " said her son 
to the prince ; " or, if you don't want to do so now, put some into 
your pocket ; you will eat them on the road." The prince had no 
desire to eat, but put some into his pocket, saying that he would eat 
them on the road. He then thanked him courteously for his hos- 
pitality and counsel, and proceeded further. 

Swiftly he paced from hill into dale, from dale on to a fresh hill, 
and never stopped till he was beneath the glass hill itself. There he 
stopped as if turned to stone. The hill was high and smooth ; there 
wasn't a single crack in it. On the top spread the branches of a 
wondrous tree, and on the tree swung three lemons, whose scent was 
so powerful that the prince almost fainted. " God help me ! Now as 
it shall be, so it will be. Now that I'm once here I will at any rate 
make the attempt," thought he to himself, and began to climb up the 
smooth glass ; but scarcely had he ascended a few fathoms when his 
foot slipped, and he himself pop down the hill, so that he didn't know 
where he was, what he was, till he found himself on the ground at the 
bottom. Wearied out, he began to throw away the dumplings, 
thinking that their weight was a hindrance to him. He threw way 
the first, and lo! the dumpling fixed itself on the glass hill. He 
threw a second and a third, and saw before him three steps, on which 
he could stand with safety. The prince was overjoyed. He kept 
throwing the dumplings before him, and in every case steps formed 
themselves from them for him. First he threw the leaden ones, then 
the silver, and then the golden ones. By the thus constructed steps 
he ascended higher and higher, till he happily attained the topmost 
ridge of the glass hill. Here he knelt down under the tree and held 
up his hands, and lo ! the three beautiful lemons flew down of them- 
selves into the palms of his hands. The tree disappeared, the glass 
hill crashed and vanished, and when the prince came to himself there 
was no tree, no hill, but a wide plain lay extended before him. 



206 THE THREE LEMONS. 

He commenced his return homeward with delight. He neither ate 
nor drank, nor saw nor heard for very joy ; but when the third day 
came a vacuum began to make itself felt in his stomach. He was so 
hungry that he would gladly have then and there betaken himself to 
the leaden dumplings, if his pocket hadn't been empty. His pocket 
was empty, and all around was just as bare as the palm of his hand. 
Then he took a lemon out of his pocket and cut it into halves — and 
what came to pass ? Out of the lemon sprang a beautiful damsel with 
no more covering on than his thumb, made a reverence before him, 
and cried out, " Have you made ready for me to eat ? Have you 
made ready for me to drink ? Have you made pretty dresses ready 
for me?" "I have nothing, beautiful creature, for you to eat, nothing 
for you to drink, nothing for you to put on," said the prince in a 
sorrowful voice, and the beautiful damsel clapped her white hands 
thrice before him, made a reverence, and vanished. 

" Aha ! now I know what sort of lemons these are," said the prince. 
" Stay ! I won't cut them up so lightly." From the cut one he ate 
and drank to his satisfaction, and thus refreshed proceeded onwards. 

But on the third day a hunger three times worse than the preceding 
assailed him. " God help me ! " said he ; "I have still one remain- 
ing over. I'll cut it up." He then took out the second lemon, cut it 
in halves, and lo ! a damsel still more beautiful than the preceding 
one placed herself before him just as God created her. " Have you 
made ready for me to eat ? Have you made ready for me to drink ? 
Have you made pretty dresses ready for me ? " "I have not, dear 
soul ; I have not," and the beautiful damsel clapped her hands thrice 
before him, made a reverence, and vanished. 

Now he had only one lemon remaining. He took it in his hand, 
and said, '*I will not cut you open save in my father's house," and 
therewith proceeded onwards. On the third day he saw after long 
absence his native town. He did not know himself how he got there, 
when he found himself at once in his father's castle. Years of joy 
bedewed his old father's cheeks. " Welcome, my son ! welcome, a 
hundred times ! " he cried, and fell upon his neck. The prince related 
how it had gone with him on his journey, and the members of the 
household how anxiously they had waited for him. 



THE THREE LEMONS. 207 

On the next day a grand entertainment was prepared. Lords and 
ladies were invited from all quarters, and beautiful dresses, em- 
broidered with gold and studded with pearls, were got ready. The 
lords and ladies assembled, took their seats at the tables, and waited 
expectantly to see what would happen. Then the prince took out the 
last lemon, cut it in halves, and out of the lemon sprang a lady thrice 
as beautiful as had been the preceding ones. " Have you made ready 
for me to eat ? Have you made ready for me to drink ? Have you 
got pretty dresses ready for me ? " *' I have, my dear soul, got every- 
thing ready for you," answered the prince, and presented the hand- 
some dresses to her. The beautiful damsel put on the beautiful 
clothes, and all rejoiced at her extraordinary beauty. Ere long the 
betrothal took place, and after the betrothal a magnificent wedding. 

Now was fulfilled the old king's wish : he blessed his son, resigned 
the kingdom into his hands, and ere long died. 

The first thing that occurred to the new king after his father's 
death was a war which a neighbouring king excited against him. 
Now he was constrained for the first time to part from his hard- 
earned wife. Lest, therefore, anything should happen to her in his 
absence he caused a throne to be erected for her in a garden beside a 
lake, which no one could ascend save the person to whom she let down 
a silken cord, and drew that person up to her. 

Not far from the royal castle lived an old woman, the same that 
had given the prince the counsel about the three lemons. She had as 
servant a gipsy whom she was in the habit of sending to the lake for 
water. She knew very well that the young king had obtained a wife, 
and it annoyed her excessively that he had not invited her to the 
wedding, nay, had not even thanked her for her good advice. One 
day she sent her maidservant to the lake for water. She went, drew 
water, and saw the beautiful image in the water. Under the impres- 
sion that this was her own reflection, she banged her pitcher on the 
ground, so that it flew into a thousand pieces. " Are you worthy," 
said she, " that so beautiful a person as myself should carry water for 
an old witch like you ?" As she uttered this she looked up, and lo ! 
it wasn't her own reflection that she saw in the water, but that of the 
beautiful queen. Ashamed, she picked up the pieces and returned 



208 THE THREE LEMONS. 

home. The old woman, who knew beforehand what had occurred, 
went out to meet her with a fresh pitcher, and asked her servant for 
appearance sake what had happened to her. The servant related all 
as it had occurred. "Well, that's nothing," said the old woman; 
'* but do you know what ? Go you once more to the lake, and ask the 
lady to let down the silken cord and draw you up, promising to comb 
and dress her hair. If she draws you up, you will comb her hair, and 
when she falls asleep stick this pin into her head. Then dress your- 
self in her clothes, and sit there as queen." 

It was not necessary to use much persuasion to the gipsy. She 
took the pin, took the pitcher, and returned to the lake. She drew 
water, and looked at the beautifiil queen. "Dear me, and how beautiful 
you are ! Ah ! you are beautiful ! " she screamed, and looked with 
coaxing gestures into her eyes. " Yes," said she ; " but you would be 
a hundred times more beautiful if you would let me comb and dress 
your hair. In truth, I would so twine those golden locks that your 
lord could not help being delighted." And thus she jibbered and 
she coaxed till the queen let down the silken cord and drew her up. 

The nasty gipsy combed, separated, and plaited the golden hair, 
till the beautiful queen fell nicely asleep. Then the gipsy drew out 
the pin, and stuck it into the sleeping queen's head. At that 
moment a beautiful white dove flew off the golden throne, and not a 
vestige remained of the lovely queen, save her handsome clothes, in 
which the gipsy speedily dressed herself, took her seat in the place 
where the queen sat before, and gazed into the lake ; but the beautiful 
reflection displayed itself no more in the lake, for even in the queen's 
clothes the gipsy nevertheless remained a gipsy. 

The young king was successful in overcoming his enemies, and 
made peace with them. Scarcely had he returned to the town, when 
he went to the garden to seek his delight, and to see whether any- 
thmg had happened to her. But who shall express his astonishment 
and horror when, instead of his beautiful queen, he beheld a sorry 
gipsy. " Ahl my dear, my dear one, how you have altered!" sighed he; 
and tears bedewed his cheeks. " I have altered, my beloved ! I have 
al+ered ; for anxiety for you has tortured me," answered the gipsy, 
and wanted to fall upon his neck, but the king turned away from 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 209 

her and departed in anger. From that time forth he had no settled 
abode, no rest; he knew neither day nor night, but merely mourned 
over the lost beauty of his wife, and nothing could comfort him. 

Thus, agitated and melancholy, he was walking one day in the 
garden. Here, as he roamed about at haphazard, a beautiful white 
dove flew on to his hand from a high tree, and looked with mournful 
gaze into his bloodshot eyes. " Ah, my dove ! why are you so sad? 
has your mate been transformed like my beautiful wife?" said the 
young king, talking to it, and caressingly stroking its head and back. 
But, feeling a kind of protuberance on its head, he blew the feathers 
apart, and beheld the head of a pin ! Touched with compassion, the 
king extracted the pin ; that instant the beautiful mourning dove was 
changed into his beautiful wife. She narrated to him all that had 
happened to her, and how it had happened ; how the gipsy had 
deluded her, and how she had struck the pin into her head. The king 
immediately caused the gipsy and the old woman to be apprehended 
and burnt without further ado. 

From that time nothing interfered with his happiness, neither the 
might of his enemies nor the spite of wicked people ; he lived with 
his beautiful wife in peace and love : he reigned prosperously, and is 
reigning yet, if he be yet alive. (Rev.) A. H. Wratislaw. 

26, Market Place, Rugby. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

Folk-lore of Whistling. — In some districts of North Germany, 
the villagers say that if one whistles in the evening it makes the 
angels weep. Speaking, however, of ladies in connection with 
whistling, it is a widespread superstition that it is at all times unlucky 
for them to whistle; which, according to one legend, originated in 
the circumstance that while the nails for Our Lord's cross were being 
forged a woman stood by and whistled. Curiously enough, however, 
one very seldom hears any of the fair sex indulging in this recreation_, 
although there is no reason, as it has been often pointed out, why they 
'should not whistle with as much facility as the opposite sex. One 



210 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

cause, perhaps, of the absence of this custom among women may be, 
in a measure, due to the distortion of the features which it occasions. 

A Spanish Easter Custom. —A writer in the last number of the 
Journal refers to the Spanish custom of calling worshippers to prayer 
during Passion Week by means of wooden clappers instead of bells. 
A few years ago, happening to be at the little town of Espluga, near 
the great monastery of Poblet, on the day before Good Friday, I heard 
a rattle of clappers proceeding from the tower of one of the churches 
on the chief square. A Spaniard whom I asked the meaning of the 
noise told me that it was made by the children in imitation of the 
thunder which rent the heaven during the Passion of Our Lord. A 
similar ceremony in South America is thus described: "There is 
another church service, quite as ludicrous and preposterous, on the day 
of celebrating the Bending of the Veil of the Temple, when Our 
Saviour gave up the ghost. The people have large hammers, with 
which they beat the benches, and have sheets of tin, &c., which they 
shake, to imitate the noise of thunder as nearly as possible." C. S. 
Cochrane, Journal of a Residence and Travels in Colombia, London, 
1825, vol. ii. p. 335 seq.) The other custom (not, however, an Easter 
one) described by the writer is this: "At midnight [December 24th] 
a curious custom of the Koman Catholic Church was performed, called 
the Cock Mass, in commemoration of the crowing of the cock which 
took place on Peter's denial of Christ. When the curate commences 
the service the people imitate and mock his gestures, tone of voice, 
and manner of reading, making all kinds of noise, shouting, bawling, 
hooting, and imitating the crowing of the cock, with every possible 
exertion of lungs, the whole forming an exhibition most deafening to 
the ear, and perfectly ridiculous to the eye." 

The custom of substituting clappers or mallets for bells before 
Easter seems to have been observed in France, for Sir William (then 
Colonel) Napier wrote thus from Bapaume, April 21st, 1816: " The 
bells and clocks of Arras have departed by the force of prayers to 
Eome to be blessed; and, as it will take a fortnight to bless them and 
perform the journey with comfort, the hours are struck by boys with 
mallets in the streets." — (Life of General Sir William Najner, vol. i. 
p. 192.) J. G. Frazer. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 211 

Milk V. Lightning. — In Emin Pasha's letter published in Nature 
(vol. xxxvii. p. 583), the Sudan Arabs are said to have a superstition 
that fire kindled by a flash of lightning cannot be extinguished until 
a small quantity of milk has been poured upon it. A similar belief 
seems to have existed formerly in this country. The earliest register- 
book of this parish contains the following note : — 

" In the yeare of our Lord 1601 and uppon ye 14 day of May 
beinge thursday ther was great thundringe and lightninge and ye fyer 
descendinge from heaven kindled in a white-thorne bush growinge 
neere to \ a mudd-wall in Brook-street westward from Thomas Wake 
his house, it burned and consumed ye bush and tooke into ye wall 
about on yeard then by milke brought in tyme it was quenched and 
it did noe more hurt." John Cyprian Rust. 

The Vicarage, Soham, Cambridgeshire. 

Singing Game. — I have received the following which was recently 
taken down from word of mouth at Bocking in Essex : — 

" Here come seven sisters, 
And seven milken daughters, 
And with the ladies of the land, 
And please will you grant us. 

I grant you once, I grant you twice, 

I grant you three times over ; 

A for all, and B for ball, 

And please [Maudie Everard] deliver the ball." 

The children stand all together, with another girl opposite. She 
comes forward and sings the first four lines. Then one child answers 
from the numbers, then the chorus sings *' A for all," &c. 

E. Martinengo Cesaresco. 

A Welsh Mining Superstition. — Thursday, May 10, being Ascen- 
sion-day, work was entirely suspended at Lord Penrhyn's extensive 
slate-quarries near Bangor. The cessation of work is not due to any 
religious regard for the day, but is attributable to a superstition which 
has long lingered in the district, that if work is continued an accident 
is inevitable. Some years ago the management succeeded in over- 



212 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

coming this feeling and in inducing the men to work. But each year 
there was a serious accident, and now all the men keep at a distance 
from the quarries on Ascension-day. — Shrewsbury Chronicle, May 18th, 
1888. 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 

PerrauWs Popular Tales. Edited from the original editions with 
Introduction, &c., by Andrew Lang. Oxford (Clarendon Press), 
1888. 4to. pp. cxv. 153. 

The same. 8vo. same pagination. 

The value of popular tales must have advanced very much in the 
opinion of the literary and scientific world for the Clarendon Press to 
have considered them proper for one of their publications, and, of 
course, we gladly welcome such evidence of the progress of our study. 
Mr. Lang's introduction is, he says, " intended partly as an introduc- 
tion to the study of popular tales in general Each prose story 

has been made the subject of a special comparative research ; its 
wanderings and changes of form have been observed, and it is hoped 
that this part of the work may be serviceable to students of folk-lore 
and mythology." Mr. Lang first traces the bibliographical history of 
Perrault's tales, how they made their way from the peasant's cottage 
to the palace at Versailles, how in the transition the peasant heroes 
and heroines of the tales became princes and princesses, and how 
above all the genius of Perrault won for them a place in " the land of 
matters unforgot." How very real the history and fortunes of books 
seem to be when the details are once for all set forth by the true 
bibliographer : they seem to have a life of their own quite apart from 
the wishes of any reader ; they live because, like the gods, they are 
deathless. It is pleasant to think that long before Mr. Lang and 
Professor Max Miiller began to fight their battles over the interpre- 
tation of fairy tales there was a very pretty quarrel between Perrault 

A 

and Boileau about Peau d'Ane. 

The tales which Mr. Lang examines are the following : — " The 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 213 

Three Wishes," " The Sleeping Beauty," « Little Red Riding Hood," 
" Blue Beard," *' Puss in Boots," " Toads and Diamonds," " Cinder- 
ella," " Riquet of the Tuft," and " Hop o' my Thumb." Mr. Lang's 
method is too well-known to need detailing here, but suffice it to say 
that he applies it successfully to show that the true source of 
Perrault's tales was tradition. Of all the studies we think that on 
" Puss in Boots " the least satisfactory. Mr. Lang lays stress upon 
the arguments that wealth being an element in the tale it could not 
have originated among people in a savage condition of society ; that 
a moral being found in the majority of instances, particularly the Zan- 
zibar variant, it was originally invented at one place by one author 
" for a purpose " ; that the totemistic evidence which almost acci- 
dentally is supplied from Arabia must not argue for the tale being 
originally " a heroic myth of an Arab tribe with a gazelle for a 
totem." Against these propositions it may be argued, in the first place, 
that wealth is a relative, not an absolute term, and there is wealth 
and success among savage societies as among more civilized, parti- 
cularly when it is found by the adventurer, not in his own tribe but in 
a neighboui'ing one ; any one who follows the events in savage politics 
knows that a little king sometimes rises who promotes his own tribe 
to a foremost position amongst its neighbours. Secondly, the evidence 
as to tales with or without the moral is not complete, as Mr. Hartland 
has pointed out in the Archceological Review tales overlooked by Mr. 
Lang which do not contain morals, and on this topic much more 
evidence is required before accepting even Mr. Lang's cautiously- 
worded position. Thirdly, there seems much in the animal incidents 
of the story which may be properly compared with incidents in other 
tales giving exactly the same class of ideas. But like all Mr. Lang's 
work in this line this book is a powerful addition to the study of 
Folk-lore, and its views are not to be lightly rejected or criticised. 

Euterpe : being the Second Booh of the famous History of Herodotus ' 
Englished by B. R., 1584. Edited by Andrew Lang. London, 
1888 (D. Nutt). 8vo. pp. xlviii. 174. 

The raciest of all the books of Herodotus was Englished by one of 
the raciest of translators (whoever B. R. of 1584 was), and is now 
Vol. 6. — Part 3. q 



214 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

edited by the most finished of modern English writers. The fitness 
of the thing is attested by the whole book — type, binding, illustra- 
tions, and above all the editorial introduction. Mr. Lang defends 
Herodotus against some charges brought against him by Professor 
Sayce, and we think the defence is wholly successful and pleasing. 
Mr. Lang evidently thinks that if Herodotus had lived in this age he 
would have been a member of the Folk-Lore Society, and Mr. Lang's 
admirable skill as a literary artist is, we fancy, nowhere better illus- 
trated than in the really noble words by which he speaks out his 
opinion of the good faith of Herodotus. 

This book of Herodotus is of considerable interest to the folk-lorist, 
and almost everywhere he will come upon passages which bear upon 
his own studies, particularly in the many details relating to local 
animal worship. Of course, it is unnecessary to go into this subject 
here, because it will be thoroughly well-known to our readers. The 
translation by B. R. is, of course, not exact. But to get one of the 
most popular of the writings of Herodotus translated by an Eliza- 
bethan writer and introduced by his Victorian successor makes us 
wish for more gems from the same source. There is something in 
the Elizabethan style that seems particularly pleasing to this age, and 
once more Chapman's Homer is taking its proper place in the public 
estimation. There are other translations equally worthy of our 
attention, and if they could be produced as Herodotus has been they 
would be almost certain to have an equally warm reception. 

Mr. William George Black, who has visited frequently the out-of- 
the-way string of islands which stretch from Heligoland up the coast 
of Schleswig-Holstein, has written a book descriptive of his travels 
which will be published very shortly by Messrs. Blackwood and Sons 
under the title of Among the Islands of the North Sea. This will be 
the first work in English treating of the curious customs and legends 
of the North Frisian Islanders, who are our nearest kin, and will 
contain much newly-garnered folk-lore. 



THE FOLK-LOEE OF SUTHERLAND- 

SHIHE. 

By Miss Dempster. 
{Continued from page 189.) 

CHAPTER II. 

FAIRY STORIES. 

i. — The Fairy Changeling. 

NCE upon a time there was a tailor and his wife who 
owned a small croft, or farm, and were well-to-do in 
the world, but they had only one son, a child that was 
more pain than pleasure to them, for it cried inces- 
santly, and was so cross that nothing could be done with it. One 
day the tailor and his helpmeet meant to go to a place some miles 
distant, and after giving the child its breakfast they put it to bed in 
the kitchen, and bid their farm-servant look |to it from time to time, 
desiring him also to thrash out a small quantity of straw in the barn 
before their return. The lad was late setting to work, but recollected 
before going off to the barn that he must see if the child wanted for 
anything. " What are you going to do now ? " said the bairn sharply 
to Donald as he opened the kitchen door. " Thrash out a pickle of 
straw for your father ; lie still, and do not gii'n, like a gude bairn." 
But the bairn got out of bed, and insisted there and then on being 
allowed to accompany the servant. "• Go east, Donald," said the little 
master authoritatively, " go east, and when you come to the big brae, 
chap ye (Anglice, rap) three times, and when they come, say ye are 
Vol. 6. — Part 4. b 




216 THE FOLK-LOEE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

seeking Jolinnie's flail." The astonished Donald did as he was bid ; 
and by rapping three times called up a fairy ("little man''), who, 
giving him the flail, sent him off in an unenviable state of terror. 
Johnnie set to with a will, and in an hour's time he and Donald had 
threshed the whole of the straw in the barn. He then sent Donald 
back to the brae, where the flail was restored with the same ceremony, 
and went quietly back to bed. At dusk the parents returned, and the 
admiration of the tailor at the quantity and quality of the work done 
was so great that he questioned Donald as to which of the neighbours 
had helped him to thresh out so much straw. Donald, trembling, 
confessed the truth, and it became painfully evident to the tailor and 
his wife that the child was none of theirs. They agreed to dislodge 
it as soon as possible, and chose as the best and quickest way of doing 
so to put it into a creel (open basket), and set it on the fire. No 
sooner said than done ; but no sooner had the child felt the fire than, 
starting from the creel, it vanished up the chimney. A low crying 
noise at the door attracted their attention. They opened, and a bonny 
little bairn (which the mother recognised by its frock to be her own) 
stood shivering outside. It was welcomed with rapture from its 
sojourn among the " little people," and grew up to be a douce and 
wise-like lad, says my informant. 

[In the Icelandic version of this tale the mother whips the change- 
ling, on which the -fairies come for the elf. Its name in Icelandic 
means " the father of eighteen elves." — See Powell and Magnusson's 
Icelandic Tales. 

*' They prefer the south sides of hills." — Lilly's Life and Times. 

" He wha tills the fairie's green 

Nae luck shall hae ; 
He wha spills the fairie's ring, 

Betide him want and wae ; 
For weirdly days and weary nights 

Are his till his deein' day." 

— " Lowland Rhymes," see Chambers' Po^mlar Rhymes, p. 324. 

Turkish women put a turquoise ring on the child's finger as a 
charm to prevent mischief.] 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIEE. 217 



ii.— Hill haunted by Faries, 

The burn of Invernauld, and the hill of Durcha, on the estate of 
Eose hall, are still believed to be haunted by fairies who once chased 
a man into the sea, and destroyed a new mill, because the earth for 
the embankment of the mill-dam had been dug from the side of their 
hill. The hill of Durcha is also the locality assigned for the following 
tale : — 

iii. — The Man who Danced with the Fairies. 

A man whose wife had just been delivered of her first-born set off 
with a friend to the town of Tain to have the child's birth entered 
in the sessions-books, and to buy a cask of whiskey for the christen- 
ing fete. As they returned, weary with a day's walk (or, as it is 
called in the highlands, with " travelling "), they sat down to rest at 
the foot of this hill, near a large hole, from which they were ere long 
astonished to hear a sound of piping and dancing. The father, feeling 
very curious, entered the cavern, went a few steps in, and disappeared. 
The story of his fate sounded less improbable then than it would now, 
but his companion was severely animadverted on, and when a week 
elapsed, and the baptism was over, and still no signs of the lost one's 
return, he was accused of having murdered his friend. He denied 
it, and again and again repeated the tale of his friend's disappearance 
down the cavern's mouth. He begged a year and a day's law to 
vindicate himself, if possible, and used to repair at dusk to the fatal 
spot, and there call and pray. The term allowed him had but one more 
day to run, and, as usual, he sat in the gloaming by the cavern, when 
what seemed as his friend's shadow passed within it. He leant down, 
heard reel-tunes and pipes, and suddenly descried the missing man 
tripping merrily with the fairies. He caught him by the sleeve, 
stopped him, and pulled him out. " Bless me ! why could you not let 
me finish my reel, Sandy ?" cried the dancer. " Bless me ! " rejoined 
Sandy, "have you not had enough of reeling this last twelvemonth?" 
"Last twelvemonth!" cried the other in amazement; nor could he 

r2 



218 THE FOLK-LOKE OF SUTHERLANDSHIEE. 

believe tlie truth concerning himself till he found his wife sitting by 
the door with a yearling child in her arms. So quickly does time 
pass in the company of the " good people.'' 

iv. — Observations on Fairies, Kelpies, &c. 

The Highlanders distinguish between the water and the land or 
" dressed fairies." In Wales the fairies of the mines are called 
"knockers": they are about one foot and a half in height; but the 
" Bergmann,''^ " Berggeist" gnome, and kobold, with their subter- 
ranean treasures, grotesque proportions, and great strength, are 
" powers of darkness," not acknowledged or classified in Sutherland. 
I have given one story which shows that the fairies are supposed to be 
" spirits in prison." It is not the only legend of the kind. In a 
Ross-shire narrative a beautiful lady is represented as appearing to 
an old man who sat reading the Bible. She sought to know if for 
such as her the Holy Scriptures held out any hope of salvation. The 
old man spoke kindly to her, but said that in those pages there was 
no mention of salvation for any but the sinful sons of Adam. She 
flung her arms over her head, screamed, and plunged into the sea. 
Fairies will not steal a baptized child, and "Bless you" said to an 
unbaptized one acts as a charm against their power. 

A woman when out shearing laid her baby down under a hedge, and 
went back from time to time to look at it. She was going once to 
give it suck, when it began to yell and cry in such a frightful way 
that she was quite alarmed. " Lay it down and leave it, as you 
value your child," said a man reaping near her. Half an hour later 
she came back, and, finding the child apparently in its right mind 
again, she gave it the breast. The man smiled, and told her that he 
had seen her own infant carried off by the " good people," and a fairy 
changeling left in its place. When the " folk " saw that their 
screaming little imp was not noticed, and would get nothing, they 
thought it best to take it back at once, and replace the little boy. — 
(Betsey Ross, Altass.) 

As fairies are represented as having abundance of food, riches, 
power, and mernment at their command, it cannot be temporal advan- 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 219 

tages that they seek for their children, probably some spiritual ones 
are hoped for by adoption or by a marriage with human beings (as in 
the romantic legend of Undine), and they are therefore tempted to 
foist their evil-disposed little ones on us. They never maltreat those 
they carry away. 

V. — The Fairy asking about his Salvation. 

An old man sat in the gloaming by a dyke in Strath Oikel. It was 
Sunday evening ; he read in a Gaelic Psalm-book, and he was alone. 
Suddenly he perceived that the mist had rolled up close to him, and 
he felt a cold sough or swirl of wind in his face, so strong that it 
made him look up. A voice called " Geordie, are you seeing any- 
thing there for us ? " " No," he said, when there was a loud, an ex- 
ceedingly loud and sharp cry, as of one in distress, which wailed away 
among the echoes of the rocks till it died up the valley. 

vi. — Donald Gow and the Fairy Hunt. 

Three conical hills all much of the same shape and size, and of 
which two have the same name (Torr Berrichan), are the principal 
haunts of the fairies in Sutherland. They are of the kind called 
" Dressed fairies," affecting green clothes, horns, bagpipes, reel-tunes, 
and hounds. They hunt three or four days in the week, and have 
their meets and moj^ts like their betters. Donald Gow, as he sat 
resting after ploughing, once heard the hunt, and all " the horns of 
elfland " faintly blowing. Two strange-looking hounds, with hanging 
tongues and forbidding aspects, bounded up to him and sniffed at his 
knee. He was horribly frightened, when a voice cried, " Down ! It's 
only old Donald Gow ! Let him be." — (W. Graham's sister.) 

vii. — A Badenoch Fairy. 

Duncan, surnamed Mohr, a respectable farmer in Badenoch, states 
as follows : — A matter of thirty summers ago, when I was cutting 
peats on the hill, my old mother that was was keeping the house. It 



220 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

was sowens that she had in her hand for our supper, when a little old 
woman walked in, and begged a lippie of meal of her. My mother 
not knowing her face, said, " And which of the glens do you come 
from ? " "I come from our own place, and am short of meal." My 
mother, who had plenty in the house, spake her civil, and bound her 
the meal on her back, following her a few steps from the door. She 
noticed that a little kiln on the hillside was smoking. The wifie saw 
this, too, and said, " Take back your meal ; we shall soon have meal 
of our own." My mother pressed ours on her ; but she left the poke 
lying, and when she came to the running burn she went out of sight. 
80 my mother just judged that it was a fairy. 



viii. — The Man who Flew with the Fairies. 

Five generations ago two men were walking on a Thursday 
morning to attend the sacramental preachings in the parish of 
Dornoch, to which one of them now belonged. The other was a 
native of Lairg. G. (the Dornoch man) asked the other of his welfare, 
who replied that his health, under Providence, was but middling. 
" Rory," said G., " I would like to hear of yourself concerning a point 
that troubles me." "And what is that?" "They say that you are now 
taken up with creatures which we are little acquainted with." Rory 
could not deny the impeachment, but confessed that he was in the power 
of the " little people," that they called him away at any time, carrying 
him off, when he flew like a bird, having once been as high as the 
steeple of Dornoch cathedral, spending sometimes weeks, sometimes 
days and nights, in their society. G. inquired anxiously what they 
gave him to eat, when he replied that the food was much the same as he 
had at home, but that everything-^ — beef, bread, or fish — had the same 
taste, and was like so much cork. This is all of their conversation 
that has been recovered. My informant, an old woman, had it from 
her grandfather, whose grandfather is the G. of the tale. 



THE FOLK-LOKE OP SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 221 

CHAPTER III. 
OF WITCHES AND KELPIES. 

i. — The Wakes op Loch Manaar. 

Once upon a time in Strathnaver there lived a woman who was both 
poor and old. She was able to do many wonderful things by the 
power of a white stone which she possessed, and which had come to 
her by inheritance. 

One of the Gordons of Strathnaver having a thing to do wished to 
have both her white stone, and the power of it. When he saw that 
she would not lend it or give it up he determined to seize her, and to 
drown her in a little loch. The man and the woman struggled there 
for a long time, till he took up a heavy stone with which to kill her. 
She plunged into the lake, throwing her magic stone before her, and 
crying, " May it do good to all created things save to a Gordon of 
Strathnaver." He stoned her to death in the water, she crying, 
^^ Manaar ! manaar!'' (" Shame ! shame!") And the loch is called 
the Lake of Shame to this day. 

ii. — Laijchlin-Dhumohr and the Witch. 

It came to pass that at a feast, when Fhion or Fin Maccoul or 
Fingal sat at meat with the giants that were his companions, he 
passed round to each the cup from which he drank — to all but to 
Dhumohr, the darkest man of all, the third for strength, and of great 
courage. So Dhumohr's anger rose in* his breast, and he left the 
place and the service of Fhion, and took ship to Denmark, to the 
place where Lauchlin, the enemy of Fhion, lived. Wild was the 
shore in the land of Lauchlin, and great the waves, but the ship of 
Dhumohr came safe to land, and he pulled her up with his right hand 
till she was high on the beach. " Who is this ?" said the men of 
Lauchlin. " This is one of the heroes of Fhion. When he comes we 
shall know him by his face." And they found that it was Dhumohr, 
third in strength of all the men of Morven. 

Then Lauchlin made a feast of heroes, and Dhumohr sat by the 
queen (for he had made his head and his arm over to the foes of 



222 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

Fingal). " Let the feast be served," said the king, and the table 
creaked with the weight of the venison, and the hall was filled with 
music. " Did you ever see such feasting, or hear such music before 
with Fingal, tell us, Dhumohr ? " said Lauchlin. " Lower not the land, 
though we have left it," said Dhumohr aside to his servant, and then to 
the king. " In Morven, Lauchlin ! every servant of Fhion could 
eat such a feast, or carry it all unassisted." " Bring more," said the 
king, astonished ; and the table was served more largely. 

" Did you ever feast, then, so largely with Fingal ? " said the 
queen, with a smile at Lauchlin. " Every night, at the supper of 
Fingal, the dogs eat the remainder, and their portion is greater than 
this." "Then bring more," said Lauchlin, in anger; and the table 
was still served more largely, till the room would not hold all the 
dishes. " Tell us, Dhumohr," said the king, " if so great is the 
supper of Fingal?" "A greater portion than this eat daily three 
servants of Fingal." Then the queen said to Lauchlin, " Never will 
I speak with you more till you fetch me, bound (for my servants) 
from Morven, these three servants of Fingal." But in Denmark 
there was no man would venture, nor would Dhumohr serve against 
Fingal. 

At last the witch in the kitchen, that lived on the floor among the 
ashes, rose up and said to Lauchlin, that if he would feed her, and 
keep her, she would bring to the queen, captive from Scotland, the three 
great servants of Fingal. " The sea is rough, and the men are 
strong," said Dhumohr, " that fight with Fingal in Morven, and you 
will lose that old grey hare, if she ventures." 

The breath of the witch in Scotland killed 300,000 men ; but at 
Nigg, in Ross-shire, she was taken, and on this wise : * — Twenty men 
with sharp spears lay in wait in a cave, and twenty giants with spears 
drove her into it, and she died on the points of twenty spears. 

So the old grey hare never returned to Lauchlin. And as for 
Dhumohr, he died in Denmark. 

(N.B. — The witch ate before starting nine bolls of oats, and nine 
stone of butter.) — (D. M., Stack.) 

* Ford, the Icelandic witch or troll, could only be killed before sunrise on 
Whit-Sunday." — Powell and Magnusson's Icelandic Tales. 



THE FOLK-LOKE OF SUTHERLANDSHIEE. 223 



iii. — The Lord's Prayer, . 

Kerstie, the witch of PortMahomack, killed both the wives of the 
minister of the parish in succession within a year after their marriage. 
Dr. B. was told that she was to blame for it, nor did she deny the 
accusation. " Then, Kerstie," said the doctor, " if you had been to 
kill anybody I wish you had taken me first." " But I had no power 
over you," said the witch, " for when you close your eyes at night, it 
is aye with the Lord's Prayer, and when you open them again in the 
morning it is with the same prayer." — (Miss Fraser, Dornoch.) 

iv. — The Vaugh, the Poacher, and the Dog. 

Once upon a time two men at Inveran were in the habit of poaching 
in the Shin, and they carried on their depredations in this way : — 
When they had reason to believe that there was a fish in any pool 
they dragged it with a small net, one man holding it on one side till 
his companion caught the rope tied to a stone which was flung to 
him. They repaired to the place singly so as to avoid suspicion. 
One night John threw the rope across the pool, and called to his 
friend as he did so. He received the usual whistle in reply ; and 
having dragged the pool, pulled a fine salmon ashore. Again he 
drew the net, and again his prize was a beautiful fish. The third 
time the result was the same. And then it dawned on John's guilty 
mind that his accomplice on the present occasion could be no less 
than the Vaugh of the Shin. He caught up net and salmon, and 
calling his dog to follow him, ran off as hard as he could. " Halves ! 
Ian," cried a voice ; and lo ! the Vaugh was at his side, revolting in 
face, and dressed in green. A struggle began, for Ian was not 
inclined to part with the wages of iniquity. The dog at last disposed 
of the Vaugh, but he lost all his hair in the scuffle. The poacher became 
grey from terror in a single night, and we have reason to believe he did 
not again visit the pools of the Shin after dusk for any illicit purposes. 
— (D. M., Stack) 

[Vaugh-vie in Little Russia is a kobold, or nixie.] 



224 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLAND3HIRE. 



V. — The Vaugh op the Laxford. 

She seems to have been rather migratory in her habits, for it was 
by a loch on the south side o! Ben Stack that a man met her. Now 
this man had a large white and yellow dog which his neighbours had 
often advised him to kill, as it had the " bad name " which is fatal to 
one of his species. However, it proved useful on this occasion, for it 
attacked the Vaugh. Whether from his size and courage, or from 
being, as was supposed, a devil, he prevailed. Both woman and dog 
fell over the steep terraces of the north side of the hill, where they 
disappeared, — (J. Macleod, Laxford.) 

[Some ascribe this feat to DonaldDuival Mackay.] 

vi. — The Mohr Bhain, 

An Assynt witch — but the stories of her are disjointed and half- 
forgotten, excepting the circumstances of her death by strangulation. 

Some boys attacked her one Sunday, and fastened a rope to her 
neck. She struggled, and managed to get them outside the door, but 
the knot in the rope would not yield, and, as they continued dragging 
it, the unfortunate creature died, predicting for them and for their 
descendants violent or self-inflicted deaths. The story is well-known, 
and the last inheritor of the curse was drowned not many years ago, 
the rest having in the interim all perished : one hung himself, another 
fell over a precipice. Another was lost at sea, and so on. The 
memory of the Mohr Bhain lives, but her manes are now appeased. 

vii. — The Vaugh of MoulinnaVuagha. 

[Vaugh, or Baugh, is a water-fairy, attached to this mill. The 
word is spelt "fouah " in the maps and survey of the estate made 
when it was bought by Captain J. Hamilton Dempster. 

This story was told by widow Mary Calder, a pauper, in Gaelic, to 
D. M., gamekeeper, and transcribed by him for C. H. D.] 

One of John Ray Bethune's forbears, who lived at Inveran, laid a 
bet that he would seize the kelpie of MouhnnaVaugha, or Moulinna 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTJIERLANDSHIRE. 225 

Glannan, and bring her bound to the inn at Inveran. He procured 
a " brown, right-sided maned horse," and a brown black-muzzled dog, 
and by the help of the latter, having secured the Vaugh, he tied her 
on the horse behind him, and galloped away. She was very fierce, 
but he kept her quiet by pinning her down with an awl and a needle. 
Crossing the burn at the further side of Loch Migdall, she became so 
restless that he stuck the shoemaker's and the tailor's weapons into 
her with great violence. She cried out, " Och ! och ! cur amim am 
minme crourm ; L' cum asum au' hail chiul rouach,'^ which is, being 
interpreted, " Pierce me with the crooked awl, but keep that small 
sharp needle out of me." 

When he reached the clachan of Inveran, where 'his companions 
were anxiously waiting for him, he called out to them to come out 
and see the Vaugh. Then they came out, with lights, but as the light 
fell upon her she dropped off, and fell to earth, like the remains of a 
fallen star, — a small lump of jelly. 

[These jellies are often seen on the moors, and are called " dropped 
stars."] 

viii. — The Brolachan MacVaugh. 

In theMoulinnaGleannan there lived long ago a cripple of the name 
of iMurray ; better known as AllaynaMoulin. He was maintained by 
the charity of the miller, and of his neighbours, who, when they 
removed their meal, put each a handful into the lamiter's bag. This 
lad slept usually in the mill, and it came to pass that one night who 
should enter but the brolachan, the son of the Vaugh. Now the 
brolachan has eyes and a mouth, and can say two words only, 
" myself " and " yourself." Besides that he has no speech, and also 
no shape. He lay all his lubber length by the dying fire, and Murray 
threw a fresh peat on the embers, which made them fly about, red-hot, 
till brolachan was severely burnt. So he screamed in an awful way, 
and soon comes the Vaugh, very fierce, crying, *' Och ! my brolachan, 
who then burnt you ? " But all he could say was " me," and then he 
said " you " ; and she replied, « Were it any other, would not I be 
revenged." Murray slipped the peck measure over himself, and hid 
among the machinery, so as to look as like a sack as possible, ejacu- 



226 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

lating at times, " May the Lord preserve me." So he escaped unhurt, 
and the Vaugh and her brolachan left the mill. 

That same night a woman, going by the place, was chased by the 
still infuriated parent, and could not have been saved had she not 
been nimble enough to reach her own door in time to leave nothing 
for the Vaugh to catch but her heel. This heel was torn off, and the 
woman went lame all the rest of her days. — (Widow M. Calder.) 

[This creature is called a glashan, or hrounie, in the Isle of Man. 
At Skipness, in Argyllshire, he is called grugach. He is the boneless 
bug or goblin mentioned by Reginald Scot in his Witchcraft.'] 

ix. — The Cailleach Mohr of Clibrek. 

This great witch was once suspected of having enchanted all the 
deer of the Reay forest, by which means they became bullet-proof. 
Lord Keay, who was exceedingly angry, was yet at a loss how to 
remedy the evil, or to break the spell. His man, William, promised 
to find out all about it. He watched the witch for a whole night, 
and by some counter-spell contrived to be present in the morning, 
when he detected her milking the hinds. They stood about round 
the door of her hut, but one of them took a fancy to a skein of blue 
worsted that hung from a nail, and ate it. The witch, in a rage, 
struck the animal. " Ah ! " she cried, " the spell is off you now, and 
Lord Reay's bullet will be your death to-day." William repeated this 
to his master, who would, however, hardly believe that he had spent 
the night in the hut of the great witch. But a fine hind was shot 
that very day, and a hank of blue yarn foimd in her stomach estab- 
lished at once the reputation of the servant and of the Calleach mohr 
of Ben Clibrek. 

William determined to pay her another visit, well-knowing that 
this wicked old woman, though very rich, never gave anything away, 
and had never asked any one to sit down in her house. He accordingly 
walked into her kitchen. She turned round, and craved to know the 
stranger's name and his destination. " I come from the south, and I 
am going to the north," he answered curtly. " But what is your 
name?" "My name is William Sitdoun." ^^ Sit-doun!^' she re- 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 227 

peated : whereupon he flung himself into a chair. She gave an angry 
cry. " This do I willingly," he said, "when the mistress bids me." 
She was very much provoked, and taking out a bannock, as white and 
as round as the moon, began to eat without taking any more notice of 
him. " Your piece seems a dry one, mistress," he said at last. "Ah, 
the fat side is towards me," gruffly answered the witch, who had 
indeed spread one side with butter almost an inch thick. " The side 
that is to you shall be to me," cried William, and, making a dash at 
the cake, he ran out of the hut, carrying the witch's supper with him 
as a trophy. The old woman began to curse, and to hope that the 
morsel might kill him ; but William was too wise to eat anything 
that was fashioned by such uncanny hands. The witch it was who 
ate up in a fury all that her visitor did not carry off, so she died of 
her unhallowed meal, to the great joy of Lord Keay and of all her 
neighbours. 

X. — Magical disappearance of a Witch. 

A herd-woman of the parish of Criech had " that coming to see her 
which we dare not name." One Saturday morning she was observed 
to dress herself with great care, as if for church. Her daughter said, 
" Why, mother, it is not Sabbath to-day." " No," she said, " but I 
am going out to meet a man I am acquainted wi'." The neighbours, 
thinking this suspicious, followed her, but when she came to the 
Alt-na-Criech, a rough, rapid burn, she went out of sight, and was 
never seen again, nor were her clothes recovered, which her family 
seemed to consider as the greater misfortune of the two. — (Peggy 
Munroe.) 

xi. — Wise Man of the Eock. 

A hoddacli, or wise-man, lives in a rock called The Raven's, in one 
of our woods. He frightens people extremely in the evening (the 
rock commands a long hill on the road), but there is no proof that he 
has killed any one as yet. — (D. M.) 



228 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHEELANDSHIRE. 



xii. — The Banshee, or Vaugh, or Weird Woman of the Water. 

Four or five miles from Sldbo there is a lake called Migdall, with 
a great granite rock of the same name to the north of it. At one end 
a burn runs out past Moulinna\^augha, or the kelpie's mill. It is 
also haunted by this banshee, which the miller's wife saw about three 
years ago. She was sitting on a stone, quiet, and beautifully dressed 
in green silk, the sleeves of which were curiously pufied from the 
wrist to the shoulder. Her long hair was yellow, like ripe corn, 
but on a nearer view she turned out to have no nose. — (Miller's 
wife.) 

xiii. — The Web-footed Kelpie. 

A very old, coarse, and dirty banshee belongs to a small sheep-farm 
of Mr. Dempster's. A shepherd found her lying, apparently crippled, 
at the edge of a moss, and compassionately offered her a lift on his 
back. In going, he espied her feet, which were dangling down his 
back, and seeing she was web-footed, he threw her off, flung away the 
plaid on which she had lain, and ran as if for his life. 

A weird woman, magnificently adorned, with gold and silken gear, 
was once seen by our old keeper running violently down a steep brae, 
on the east side of the river Shin. She disappeared in one of its 
deepest pools, but not before she had been seen by half-a-dozen trust- 
worthy witnesses. 

xiii. — Water-Kelpies. 

The Highlanders distinguish between these fairies (dressed fairies) 
and the water-kelpies, who are more unmitigatedly mischievous in 
their tendencies. The kelpies preside over mills and fords, where they 
do a great deal of harm. 

One William Monroe, and the grandfather of the person from whom 
we have this story, were one night leading half-a-dozen pack-horses 
across a ford in the Oikel, on their way to a mill. When they neared 
the river-bank, a horrid scream from the water struck their ears. " It 
is the Vaugh," cried the lad, who was leading the first horse ; and, 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 229 

picking up some stones, he sent a shower of them into the deep pool 
at his feet. She must have been repeatedly hit, as she emitted a 
series of the most piercing shrieks. " I am afraid," said Monroe, 
" that you have not done that right, and that she will play us an ugly 
trick at the ford." " Never mind, we will take more stones," he 
answered, arming himself with a few. But the kelpie had had enough 
of stones for one night. — (D. Murray, Stack.) 

xiv. — Honeysuckle as a Charm against Witchcraft. 

Honeysuckle has great power against witchcraft, and it should be 
worn by women with child. Our gamekeeper's wife tells me she has 
often seen a piece stitched inside the body of a gown. 



CHAPTER IV. 

GOOD AND BAD SERPENTS. 
i. — Farquhar the Physician. 



L^' 



Now Farquhar was one time a drover in the Reay country, and he 
went from Glen Gollich to England to sell a drove of black cattle, 
and the staff that he had in his hand as he walked was hazel. One 
day a doctor met him. " "What's that," he said, " you have in your 
hand ? " " It is a staff of hazel." " And where did you cut that ? " 
" In Glengollig north, in Lord Keay's country." " Do you mind the 
place and the tree ? " " That I do." " Could you get the tree ? " 
" Easy." " Well, 1 will give you gold more than ye can lift if ye 
will go back there and bring me a wand of that hazel-tree ; and take 
this bottle, and bring me something more, and I will give ye gold as 
much again. Watch at the hole at the foot, and put the bottle to it. 
Let the six serpents go that come out first, but put the seventh into 
the bottle, and tell no man, but come back straight with it here." So 
Farquhar went back to the hazel glen alone, and when he had cut 



230 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

some boughs off the tree he looked about for the hole that the doctor 
spoke of. A hole there was, and Farquhar sat to watch it; and what 
should come out but six serpents, brown and barred like adders. 
These he let go, and clapped the bottle to the hole's mouth to see 
woiild anything more come out. By-and-by a white snake came 
rolling through. Farquhar had him in the bottle in a minute, tied 
him down, and hurried back to England with him. 

The doctor gave him siller enough to buy the Eeay country, but 
asked him to stay and help him with the white snake. They lit a fire 
with the hazel-sticks, and put the snake into a pot to boil; the doctor 
then bid Farquhar watch it, and not let any one touch it, and not to 
let the steam escape (for fear, he said, folk might know what they 
were at). He wrapped paper round the pot-lid ; but he had not made 
all straight, for when the water began to boil the steam began to 
come out at one place. Well, Farquhar saw this, and thought he 
would push the paper down round the thing ; so he put his finger to 
the bit that was wet, and then his finger into his mouth, for it was 
wet with the bree. Lo ! he knew everything, and the eyes of his 
mind were opened. " I will keep it quiet though," he said to him- 
self. Presently the doctor came back, and took the pot from the fire. 
He lifted the lid, and, dipping his finger in the steam drops, sucked it. 
But the virtue had gone out of it, and it was no more than water to 
him. " Who has done this ? " he cried, and saw in Farquhar's face 
that it was he. " Since you have taken the bree of it, take the flesh 
too," he said in a rage, and threw the pot at him (pia dohl us a sugh 
ith n^ fheol). 

Now Farquhar had become all wise, and he set up as a doctor, and 
there was no secret hid from him, and nothing that he could not cure. 
He went from place to place and healed them, so that they called him 
Farquhar the physician. Now he heard that the king was sick, so he 
went to the city of the king to know what would ail him. It was his 
knee, said all the folk, and he has many doctors, and pays them all 
greatly, and whiles they can give him relief, but not for long, and then 
it is worse than ever with him, and you can hear him roar and cry 
with the pain that is in his knee, and in the bone of it. One day 
Farquhar walked up and down before king's house {N^daol dubh, 



THE FOLK-LOEE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 231 

vis a' chnaumh gheal). " The black beetle to the white bone," he 
cried out. The people looked at him, and said that the strange 
man of the Keay country was through other (mad). The next day 
Farquhar stood at the gate, and cried, " The black beetle to the 
white boue." And the king sent to know who it was that cried 
outside, and what was his business. " The man," they said, " was 
a stranger, and men called him the physician." So the king, who 
was wild with pain, said to call him in, and Farquhar stood before 
the king and aye. " The black beetle to the white bone," said 
he. And so it was proved. The doctors, to keep the king ill and get 
their money, put at whiles a black beetle into the wound which the 
king had in his knee; and the beast was eating his bone and his 
flesh, and made him to cry day and night. Then the doctors took it 
out again for fear he should die ; and when he was better they put it 
back again that it might eat him more. This Farquhar knew by the 
serpent's wisdom that he had whenever he laid his finger under his 
teeth. And the king was cured, and had all the doctors hung. Then 
he said to Farquhar that he would give him lands or gold or whatever 
he asked. Then Farquhar asked him the king's daughter, and all 
the isles that the sea runs round from Point of Storr to Stromness in 
the Orkneys. So the king gave him a grant of all the isles. But 
Farquhar the physician never came to be Farquhar the king, for he 
had an ill-wisher that poisoned him, and he died. — (J. MacLeod, 
Laxford.) 

[I have taken the story as it was told me, bad grammar and all, 
and got the chief sentences in Gaelic. It was by serpents' tree that 
Michael Scott got his knowledge, and the wisdom of the mouth 
is said, in county Clare, to have belonged to Fingal, who began life 
as a herd-boy on the Shin. Some giants came to him one day, 
and bade him roast a fish for them, threatening to kill him if he 
burnt it. He did so on one small spot. On this spot he quickly put 
his finger, and as quickly transferred the hot finger to his mouth 
(putting it under his teeth). A gift of omniscience was the result, 
and this quality became the foundation of his future greatness. 
Cassandra had been licked by a serpent before she became a 
prophetess.] 

Vol. 6. — Fart 4. s 



232 ^ THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

ii.— The Dragon of Loch CorrieMohr. 

At Loch CorrieMohr there lived for many years a flying serpent, 
so terrible and wild that nobody could fish in the loch, nor come 
within a mile of it. At last one summer, when there was a drought 
and a dearth, a man said to his son, " Let us go and fish in Loch 
CorrieMhor, and maybe the serpent will not heed us." So they 
went ; but they had not made two casts when they see her 
coming, swimming across the loch. The man said, " It is time we 
should be out of this." And they ran together, but the serpent 
outran them, and they could feel her hot breath. " Eun you, my 
son, for my hour is come," said the man. So the lad fled, and his 
father went up into a tree, having put his cap upon his sword, and 
struck that into the trees root, hoping to frighten the beast. But she 
snuffed at the cap, and knocked down the sword, and began to wind 
round the tree. Then he began to shoot arrows at her ; but she 
pulled them out with her teeth as fast as he put them into her. The 
last arrow had an iron head and two barbs, and was of the kind which 
men call saidth baiseh, or the death arrow, which they do not part with 
till the last struggle. Just as the serpent reached him, and opened 
her jaws to seize his feet, he shot at her open jaws with the two- 
barbed dart. It fastened there, and could not be pulled out. So, 
after a struggle, the terrible beast died, and the man got home to tell 
the tale. 

N.B. — A whole Idd was taken out of the serpent at her death. — 
(D. M., Stack.) 

iii. — The Two Dragons on Loch Merkland. 

There were a pair of dragons, one of them had Avings and another 
had not. They lived one on each side of the loch. They were in 
girth about twice that of a man, and the flying one roared so as to be 
heard a mile off. A carrier killed the one and a soldier the other 
and rendered the place safe for travellers. — (J. MacLeod.) 

[The wings with which dragons are endowed are only the emblem 
of the promptitude with which the serpent pounces on his prey, or in 
order to soize it gets into trees. — The Pldlosophy of Magic, by 
Eusebe Salverte.] 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 233 

CHAPTER V. 
OF DREAMS AND OF GOOD AND BAD LUCK. 

Lucky Dreams. 

Lucky to dream of deer. 

Lucky to dream of blue. 

Unlucky to dream of red. 

Unlucky to dream of white. 

Unlucky to dream of yellow. 

Unlucky to dream of waves close to you. 

Unlucky to dream of water. 

Unlucky to dream of babies. 

Unlucky to dream of copper money. 

Unlucky to dream of a serpent or of its sting. 

Unlucky to dream of black. 

Unlucky to dream of green. 

Unlucky to dream of the sea. 

Lucky Omens. 

To have a mole on the body. 

To be the seventh son in a family where there are no daughters. 

To let a thing drop into the fire from your hand. 

To sneeze. 

To find and pick up a pin. 

To find and pick up a horseshoe. 

To wash a baby with a piece of gold in its hand. 

To have new clothes on Now Year's Day. 

To see a person of the opposite sex first on New Year's Day, 

Unlucky Omens. 

To see the new moon through a pane of glass. 
To see the first lamb of the year with its tail towards you. 
To turn to the left. 

To hear furniture cracking (this means removal). 

S2 



234 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

To destroy a swallow's nest. 

To break a glass or cup. 

To bake bread while a corpse is in the house. 

To see a woman the first thing on New Year's Day. 

To turn back when you have started on a journey. 

To hear a dog howl at night. 

To see the candle go out suddenly, leaving the room in darkness. 

To stumble in going into a house. 

To meet a hare or an old woman. 

[A Breton peasant takes off his hat to the new moon, and calls her 
madame, repeating a pater. 

In Greece it is believed that yon can get what you wish for when 
you first see the new moon. 

In Brittany the peasants think bread baked on St. Thomas' Day 
turns bad; but bread baked on Christmas Eve will keep for ten 
years. They think Thursday and Saturday as lucky as Friday 
is the reverse.] 

Thursday and Saturday are good days for women born in April. 

Friday and Monday are unlucky days. 

A servant-maid will not go to a new situation on Monday. 

It is very unlucky to turn the mattrass of a sick person on Friday 
night. 

A tree planted on Friday never thrives. 

A boat launched on Friday sinks. 

A vessel ought to sail on Sunday, and start by going round in the 
direction of the sun. 

[In the valley of the Garonne " a Friday tree " means an enterprise 
that has miscarried, a marriage that has turned out badly. 

" Among the Finns whoever undertakes any business on a Monday 
must expect very little success." — Tooke's Eussia.] 

Three very unlucky Mondays: 

First Monday in April, when Cain was born and Abel slain. 
Second Monday in August, when Sodom and Gomorrah were 

destroyed. 
Last Monday in December, when Judas was born. 

W. L. Burleigh's Precepts to his Sonne, 1636. 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHEELANDSHIRE. 235 



Silver. 

A new-born infant must be washed with a piece of silver in the 
water: the larger the sum the better the luck. The midwife's fee of 
five shillings is generally put in the bath; but to make matters safe, 
in poor houses, where there is no fee, the midwife wears a silver ring. 

[In Kussia children are generally baptised in a silver font. A rich 
Greek merchant will make a point -jf this for luck, and even a Pres- 
byterian minister will use a silver basin at a christening.] 

Miscellaneous Sayings, &c. 

" Deine nan seachd satharn ort ! " or, '* The fag end of seven 
Saturdays befall you ! " You must not wish evil to the fairies, or 
indeed say any harm of them, except on a Friday. On that day they 
are "at home," and not anywhere in man's vicinity (witches' sabbath), 
then say, " Beannachd nan suibhal a's nan imeachd! Se 'n diugh di 
n'aoin, cha, chlimm iod Linne"; or "Blessed (ironical) be their 
travelling and their departing ! This day is Friday, and they do not 
hear us. " Bithidh di h'aoin au aghaid na seachain," or, " Friday 
is contrary to the week." 

Op the Weather. 

If February is mild, the winter is past. A gloomy Friday makes 
a wet Saturday. A fair Sabbath a fair week. When the sun shines 
in the evening of a very rainy day they say, " Am fear a wharbhadh 
a mhathair a chianamh bheireadh e veb nois " ; or, " The man who 
killed his mother is now trying to bring her alive again." Of the 
winds they say, " Gaoth a deas, teas, ajus, toradh. Gaoth au rar vasg 
is bainne. Gaoth a tuath, fuachd is gaillshion. Gaoth au carmeas 
air crannaibhe " ; or, " The south wind brings warmth and fertility, 
the west fish and milk, the north cold and storm, the east fruitfulness 
of trees." 



236 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

RIDDLES AND RHYMES. 

Riddles. 
What comes, and goes, and yet never leaves the spot ? — (A door.) 

[" Qu'est ce qui va, qui vient, et ne quitte pas sa place." — {Les 
Soirees Amusantes. Par Attigny. Ardennes, 1856.)] 

A little white house, well shaped but without doors or windows. — 
(An egg.) 

I see to me, 

I see from me, 

Two miles over the sea, 

A little blue man. 

In a green boatee : 

His shirt is lined with a skein of red. — (The rainbow.) 

The lad that eats his own flesh and drinks his own blood. — (A 
candle.) 

[De qu'es acb ? De qu'es acb ? 

Que bien soun sang 

E minja sous budels? — Dialect of Lower Languedoc] 

Three times four and four times three. 

That make only two and four. — (24.) 

Poetical Sayings. (Older than 1750.) 

1. 

Tha e nios air slige firimn. 

He is now on the journey of truth — viz. dying. ■ 

2. 

Tha e mios air ford na firimn. 

He lies now under the turf of truth. 

3. 

Uigh air nigh thig an t-slaint, 's na torma mbr au ca slainte— or, 
Health comes gradually, but in huge billows cometh ailment. « 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTIIEIILANDSHIRE. 237 

4. 
Thig au fhren a mach le tutaist — or, 
Truth will come out with misfortune. 

5. 
Thig math a mulad. 
Good comes out of sadness. 

6. 

" Apres moi le deluge." In Gaelic, 
Nuair Chios mise thall, gearr an drochaid. 
Break the bridge when I have got over it. 

7. 
Yesterday, a woman said to me of a poor girl dying slowly of con- 
sumption, — " Oh, poor lassie, I am thinking she is just passing her 
time.'^ 

8. 
An indifferent matter is like the Sunday-plucked herb; it does 
neither good nor harm : or, " Mar lus au' donaich gun auhath na 
dolaihd aun." 

9. 
Green are the hillocks that are far distant. 

A Khyme. 

Na falbh diluan, 
Lua gluais di mairt ' 

Tha dicendein craobhach. 
Is tha dirdavin dilach 
Di-h, aoue cha'n 'eile buag hail 
'S cha dual dhurt falbh a mairach. 
Say this to any one leaving on Saturday. 

An Evil Proverb. 

" Math air seaun duine, math air fall duine, is math air beanaibh 
beagh, tri mathau cailte." — Namely, 

Good done to an old man, a bad man, and a little infant, are three 
goods cast away. 



288 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

A Local Ehyme. 

There is a caillaich in Skibo, 
There is two in Ardalio, 
There is three in Kirkton. 
And four in Culmailie. 

Chorus — And they long live, 

They long live ; 

They long live, the Carlins ! 



CHAPTER VII. 

SECOND SIGHT. 

i. — The Road. 

A carpenter assures us that when he was a boy, in Assynt, he was 
one day herding sheep on the limestone cliffs of Stronchrubie (which 
commands the head of Loch Assynt), when he beheld a four-wheeled 
carriage (a thing he had never seen in his life), with a pair of horses, 
and harness that shone in the sun, coming down at a quick pace a 
spur of one of the most rugged hills in Sutherland (Glashbhein). He 
thought no more of the apparition, though it was sufficiently wonder- 
ful, considering that on that side of the loch there was not a yard of 
road. He left Assynt, nor did he return there till a very few years ago, 
when the road that now runs from Assynt to GlenDhu was made. 

One day, lying again above the tarn, he saw an open carriage 
and pair of horses come quickly along the new road, at the very spot 
where his prophetical vehicle had, thirty years before, crossed the 
steep incline, from Glashbhein to the lake. — (Graham.) 

ii. — The Funeral Procession. 

On an autumn evening, one of our tenants was standing at his 
own door, when he saw a funeral coming along the road. So common 
are such learnings in this country that he paid it comparatively little 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 239 

attention, till a man distinguished from the others, by wearing whitish 
trousers, stepped out of the ranks, and ran across the grass in front of 
the house as if to speak to him. Then the figure vanished, and my 
friend went to bed. Next day, at twelve o'clock, a funeral did pass 

Mr. 's door. This was not strange; but it is a fact, and a curious 

one, that a man in whitish trousers, a friend from a distant part of 
the county, did leave the procession, and walking quickly across the 
grass, shook hands with G., and asked after his health and family.— 
(Graham, Cuthil.) 

X. came to ask a tenant of ours to cross the ferry with him, and to 
go to Tain, for the fair held there. The man refused, because he had 
been warned of God in a dream that many would be drowned by the 
capsizing of the boat. X. laughed at him, went to Tain, and was 
among the eighty-eight persons drowned the following day. This 
happened on 16th August, 1809. 

iii. — Warning of Death. 

A miller, of the name of Munro (a tenant and clansman of Mr. 
Munro of Novar), added to his calling the lawful one of carpenter and 
the unlawful one of distiller of whisky. One Saturday evening late he 
was drying and preparing some malt in the mill. His wife had gone 
to bed, but had left, as he found when his work was finished, a good 
fire in the room (not the kitchen) from which their bed-closet opened. 
To his horror he found a corpse, or its similitude, lying, as X. says, in 
linens, below the window. He looked at it for some lime, feeling very 
sad (he had often had board-rattling and warnings of coffins required in 
the neighbourhood) : he did not like to pass it, but, going by the other 
side of the fire, slipped into the little room where his wife slept. He un- 
dressed, but looked out again to see if the horrid occupant of his house 
was still there, which it was, stiff, and white, and still. In the 
morning of course it had vanished; but it had a great effect on 
Munro, and when X. met him eight days after he thought him 
looking grave and unwell. Six days later word came to X. to come 
quickly to Mrs. Munro, for the mill-stone had broken suddenly, and 
her husband and a lad who worked with him had both been killed by 
the fragments. X. made what arrangements he could, but being a 



/ 



240 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

contractor and master mason it was impossible for him to get up to 
tlie mill that day. Next day, however, he went to the bye-wake, and 
started painfully on going into the room to see poor Munro's mangled 
body, rolled in fair linen cloths, and lying under the window, to the 
right of the fire, in the same spot where the dead man had seen the 
warning repose. 

X. was the only person to whom the miller had told the vision 
(which he had concealed from his wife), and he has never forgotten 
the fate of his poor friend. — (Graham.) 

iv. — The Hour and the Man. 

Some workmen, trenching by the side of a river in Sutherland long, 
long ago, heard, one day, an unearthly voice cry: "The hour is come, 
but not the man." Half-an-hour later they descried a man running 
at full speed, as if with the intention of crossing the stream. One of 
/ them started off to try and intercept him, because the river was then 

in " speat," or " spate," and he was very likely, from bis haste, to 
plunge in without noticing how heavily it was running. The man, a 
stranger, seemed eager and breathless, and, indeed, what is called 
" fey," for he refused to listen to the workmen, and shook them off. 
They, familiar with the pools and shallows of the river, used force to 
prevent his running so great a risk ; and finding he would not listen 
to reason, they carried him off, and locked him up in our Lady's 
Chapel, not far off. Thither they returned to seek him, when work 
hours were over, and, to their horror, found that he had drowned him- 
self in the font. The "man" could not pass his "hour." — (Dell.) 

v. — A Wraith. 

Farther on there is a hill covered with birch and oak copse, through 
which the high-road to Bonar Bridge also passes. One morning, in 
winter, and in deep snow, a man, proceeding slowly westward, saw 
ahead of him another man in a long hooded cloak of blue homespun. 
He recognised him, though the figure had its back to him, to be the 
father of one of our small tenants, a man of the name of Murray. 
Eager to overtake him, the traveller quickened his pace, but it was not 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSIIIRE. 241 

easy to make much way in the snow, which was a good deal drifted, 
but in which he now saw, to his horror, the man in front of him had 
l6ft no foot-marks. He then ran, getting nearly alongside the sup- 
posed Murray, and called to him, when the apparition vanished. 

[An architect, residing in Glasgow, required to see his friend and 
partner, Mr. H., who resided at a short distance. Mr. T., the 
architect, started to walk to the house, and was delighted, in a lane 
near the dwelling of Mr. H., to see that his friend was coming towards 
him on foot. The number of yards between them was so few that T. 
was amazed to perceive that Mr. H., instead of drawing nearer, 
turned, opened the wicket-gate of the shrubbery of his house, and 
disappeared. T. was vexed, as the business was pressing, but was 
almost immediately shown into the library, where, to his amazement, 
Mr. H. sat in his dressing-gown and slippers. He had not left his 
house or room that day. 

Mrs. G. A., having just parted from a relative who was on his way 
to India, was amazed to see him seated on the sofa in her room. She 
never doubted the reality of his presence, as he moved and seemed 
about to speak. The room was found to be empty, and she fainted. 

J. de L., when busy at his desk, saw a friend, whom he believed to 
be in Oxford, walk past the window. An hour later he was summoned 
by the mother of this friend, who had just been drowned at Oxford.] 



/ 



/ 



CHAPTER VIII. 
SUPERSTITIONS. 

i. — The Triple Jewel of Ben Stack. 

At midnight, in a stormy season and on a " fearsome " night, 
Donald Murray saw blazing on the north side of Ben Stack, where 
three streams fall straight down from the brows of the hill, a triple 
light, one above the other, the highest being brightest. It has been 
seen before, and he says it is a diamond, and sacred, probably, to some 
powers of storm and darkness. 



242 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

[A hill near Loch Maree is named Ben Ailleagan : a jewel. 
Jewels in general figure but little in Highland lore ; but the jewel 
of Gemshid pales before the three-fold diamond of Ben Stack.] 

ii. — The Spectral Hosts, 

Part of the estate of Embo, recently bought by the Duke of Suther- 
land, consists of an open moor sloping almost to the sea. On this 
piece of ground spectral hosts have been repeatedly seen charging and 
repulsing each other, and people crossing the moor have been noticed 
by others to be surrounded by these armies, of which they themselves 
saw nothing. It is most common before sunrise, and may be sup- 
posed (though the country people think it uncanny) to resemble the 
figures seen by travellers in the Erzegebirge. — (Miss Leslie, Dor- 
noch.) 

iii. — AltnaHierinn, or The Burn of the Maiden. 

One of the march burns here has this name because tradition says 
that a girl was once murdered beside it ; under what circumstances I 
do not know. She haunts it still ; and this spring a spectral dog and 
man were observed near it. All parties agree that on the spot on 
which her blood was spilt the snow never lies ; it is exposed summer 
and winter, night and day, to the angry eye of heaven. — (Peggy 
Munro, Achlach.) 

The Sea. 

In 1806 a number of people were drowned at the Mickel ferry 
(between Koss and Sutherland) owing to overloading the boat. On 
the anniversary of this accident nothing could have induced our game- 
keeper to draw his net in a little arm of Skibo, and near the said 
ferry. I do not know what he was afraid of ; perhaps of some mis- 
fortune to himself, certainly of bad luck in his fishing, or he may 
have had some lingering fear of drawing in a dead body. — (D. M.) 

The sea, they say, does not always cast up those who have been 
drowned either by accident (as falling from a rock or pier) or by 
stress of weather ; but the corpse of one murdered and thrown into it 
is sure to float ashore. " The sea will not keep what it did not seek ." 
— (Matheson, Clackmore.) 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 243 

Tide. 

Death is looked for early in the morning — between twelve and two ; 
but it is also looked for as the tide recedes. 

The Wraith. 

Before a death the wraith is often heard in the carpenter's shops 
selecting boards for the coffin. Linen for the shroud is said to be 
chosen with equal care by the provident spirit. But the rattling of 
board and tools may be considered a sign of rapidly approaching 
dissolution. 

Death Struggle.* 

They open the door during the death struggle to facilitate the 
departure of the spirit. A plate of salt is often laid on the dead 
body, which it is the custom to watch with candles. 

Passing and Funeeal Bell. 

Old people remember when it was the custom for a man to walk 
alongside of a funeral ringing a bell (to drive away evil spirits); and 
when the earth began to be shovelled into the grave the church bells, 
which had been slowly tolling, rang out a loud violent peal ; I believe 
with a view of warning the devil more effectually off the premises. — 
(R. Gordon.) 

Omens of Death. 

Some days before the death of Dr. Bethune, some time minister of 
the parish of Dornoch (1816), a large cormorant was observed sitting 
on the steeple of the cathedral church. The whole town took this as 
a sign that the incumbent was not long for this world. One of the 
same birds was seen flying and lighting on parts of the building in 
1850. The vulgar predicted from this a similar event, and the result 
justified the saying, for the then clergyman sickened and died after a 
short illness. 

* Same customs in Northumberland and Leicestershire. Moreton says salt is 
the emblem of immortality, and the candle is the Egyptian hieroglyphic for life. 
A light set on the head of a corpse is a Jewish custom. 



241 THE FOLK-LORE OF SFTHERLANDSHIRE. 

[Before the death of the Tzar Nicholas a great sea eagle came into 
St. Petersburg, and sat on the Winter Palace. Crowds collected to 
look at the bird, which must have come from some distant part of 
Finland. Its appearance was held to be ominous, and it was often 
referred to after the illness of the Tzar became known in the city. 

The grebes which fly up the Bosphorus in the mornings and return 
at night are said to be the spirits of the Sultan's wives.] 

Spiritual Visitors. 

There lived on our property some twenty years ago an old woman 
named Christy Ross. She was not only the last of her family, who 
had all lived and died on the croft, but was also so very infirm that 
Mrs. Dempster was anxious to persuade her to change her house, and 
to go to another, where there were neighbours able and willing to be 
of use to her in case of sickness or death. This she steadfastly refused, 
saying the kindness was well-meant, but that she could not abandon 
what had been her home and her people's home. " At night," she 
said, " she heard a man's voice praying by her bedside, and sweet 
music as of singing." She had no doubt it was her father and brothers, 
and no doubt but that in a strange house she would miss this hap- 
piness, one which she valued above neighbours or help. 

Holy Wells. 

A well in the black isle of Cromarty (near Rosehaugh) has mira- 
culous healing powers. A countrywoman tells me that about forty 
years ago she remembers its being surrounded by a crowd of people 
every first fine day in June, who bathed or drank of it before sunrise. 
Each patient tied a string on a rag to one of the trees that overhung 
it before leaving. It was sovereign for headaches. — (Peggy Munro.) 

[A well at Skibo Castle, called St. Mary's, used to be visited by 
patients who hung the trees round with bits of red rags. 

A well at Biel, near East Linton, is called the " Rood, or Rude, 
Well." It has no healing properties but is haunted by a very tiny 
figure. 

St. Anthony's Well, near Edinburgh, is still frequented on May 
mornings by youths and maidens who wash their faces in the well. 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHEKLANDSHIRE. 245 

though the custom is not so universal now as it was one hundred 
years ago. 

At Balokali, a village near Constantinople, there is a sacred well. 
Visitors go there to eat fish fried on one side ! The Greek patriarch 
comes once a year to plunge the Cross into the water. The sick, 
who have been lying all night on the floor of the church, are then 
sprinkled with the water, of which bottles are carried away for the 
cure of disease. 

Bottles of water from the Jordan are believed to be of use to sick 
people, and the water of the well at Lourdes is now in great request. 
' Votive rags may be seen in the Island of Chalki (Sea of Marmora) 
stuck round the window of the cells where the hermits live who are 
resorted to as healers. 

St. Lawrence's Well, Peterborough, and St. Edmund's Well, at 
Oxford, used to be visited. 

The Vandals had a well at Glamutz to which they offered sacrifices. 
It was a giver of presages rather than of health.] 

The Evil Eye. 

The evil eye is very common. Children, cattle (milch cows), and 
poultry, suffer most from it. But the evil wishes, it is remarked, often 
fall back on the utterer, because to the " mischief" it is a matter of 
indifference on which of the two the spell or the wish falls. 

[A Turkish nurse objects just as a Sutherland woman does to your 
looking at the baby. A pasha's daughter explained to a friend of 
mine that this was because of the evil eye. 

I do not know if the Jews believe in the evil eye ; but Offenbach, 
the composer, who was of Jewish extraction, was believed by Chris- 
tians to have this horrid power, and was often avoided because of the 
jettatura. 

Turquoises are said to be a preservative against it. I have never 
heard whether blue eyes or dark ones had the power of doing harm.] 

Cure of the Evil Eye. 

A woman, Ann Macrae, on this estate cures cows, &c., by incan- 
tations. She has a bag of stones as a " medicine," and a large 



246 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

practice, being sent for from place to place, but seems rather feared 
than loved. Water in which one of these stones is boiled cures the 
effect of the evil eye. They are hereditary in her family. 

A man, also our tenant, cures pains in persons at a distance by 
magic. The patients send him their names sealed up ; he requires 
no diagnosis, but from the moment he receives the paper the pain or 
fever begins to mend. This was tried by a girl weeding in the garden 
here last autumn, but without success. I must say that the failure 
did not shake her faith, at which, as she had been for half a year one 
of my pupils in a Bible-class, I was not a little scandalised. 

Verses of Scripture. 

I remember an old woman, now dead, who never went an hour from 
home without making one of her neighbours open the Bible and see 
what the first verse said. If the verse was to her mind, she then said, 
" I will go in God's name." The Book of Psalms is the one most 
used for this purpose. She was very superstitious, assembled the 
whole kirk session of elders once to hear of a revelation she had from 
heaven, and frequently told us that she '* seed the Mischief sitting up 
in a tree, and girning at her." She prayed a great deal, but was so 
cross as to be almost mad, or, as her neighbours said, " very thro' 
other at the full of the moon." 

If a young woman wished to know who is to be her husband, let 
her read the third chapter of Euth, and put the Bible under her head 
at night on Hallow-e'en. The intended will appear to her in a dream. 
— (Peggy Monro, Achlach.) 



CHAPTER IX. 
ANIMALS AND CHIMEKAS. 

The Golden Horse of LochnaGillie. 

A loch on this estate, now small and muddy, but once much larger, at 
the time when it received its name from the following sad event: — 
A dozen lads were playing by its banks, riding and chasing the 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 24? 

ponies which grazed among the reeds and rushes. They all quarrelled 
who should mount a beautiful horse which grazed among the others, but 
was finer than any they had ever seen; its skin was smooth, bay- 
coloured, and shining like gold. Two boys jumped up. " There is 
room for three," said the next, and got on. " There is room for four," 
said the fourth lad, and so there was; for the more boys mounted him 
the more the golden horse lengthened. At last all the boys sat on 
him, but two who were brothers. " Come let us up," said the 
youngest, touching the horse with his forefinger ; but lo ! the finger 
stuck there, it had grown to the golden skin. " Take your knife, 
Ian, and cut it off," he cried. His brother did so, and the two ran 
bome together, too much frightened to look behind them and to see the 
fate of the rest. That no one saw, but by an hour after the hair and 
entrails of the boys were scattered all over the water. The golden 
horse had plunged in with all his victims, and the locli is called by 
their name to this day. — (Widow Calder.) 

[Loch Laggan, also on this property, boasts of a water-borse, and at 
night a bright light is seen to swim up and down the middle of the 
lake. Then they say, " The water-horse moves." — (W. M., sheriff's 
officer.) 

A golden horse was once seen, born of the waters of the Fleet. 
It tempted a woman to follow it and try to drive it, but she was 
warned in time, and so it was foiled of its aim to lure her to a 
watery grave. 

The Grahams of Morphie, in the Mearns, are said to have caught 
and bridled the water-horse, and made him draw stones for their new 
castle. This unwilling workman's curse lay on the family for ever, 
and caused their ruin. 

Apropos of manes, a family of Munro, having many generations 
ago intermarried with the Vaugha of Ben-na-Caulting, were said to 
have manes and tails till within the last four generations.] 

The Seven Heeds op Sallachie and the Water-Hokse. 

Lang syne, when men, and flocks, and herds were plenty in Suther- 
land, there were seven herds watching their flocks by Loch Shin, and 
it was evening. They all quarrelled who should mount a beautiful 
horse which grazed among the others. Said one herd to the other, 

Vol. 6. — Part 4. t 



248 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

"That is my father's horse." "No, it is my father's horse:" and 
they fell to fighting (for the horse looked different to each of them). 
The first jumped up. " There is room for two," said the second, 
and jumped up also. The others were angry. " It is a bonny horse, 
too," said a girl that came by, when tliey were all up but one. And 
she patted its shining skin, but her hand had stuck to it. " Oh ! 
Annach," cried her brother, " will ye die with the others, or want your 
hand?" " Oh! take off the hand and let us run." So he took the 
hand off, and they two ran home, and the seven herds of Sallachie 
were never seen again. — (Mr. Young, Lairg.) 

This is nearly the same as the legend of LochnaGillie; and a 
third story is current of Loch Badandarroch, or the loch of the oak 
branches, where two girls were the victims, and no one remained to 
tell the tale. 

In Ben-na- Caul ting one day, the Vaugh called to D. MacEobb, 
" Will you eat any charcoal, Donald ? " " No," he said, " my wife 
will give me supper when I get home." 

[Pliny speaks of a mysterious affinity between serpents and the 
hazel-tree. 

In Brittany a stick or wand cut from an apple-tree leads by a 

mysterious wisdom. Eepeat this rhyme: — 

" Condnis-mois 
Par les mers, 
Par les terres, 
Partout on aller 
Voudras." — Le Naer. 

In the Lowlands of Scotland the bourtree or elder is revered. In 
Upper India a tree of the mimosa tribe is called wise. It sleeps all 
day, wakes all night, and is a charm against witches. — See Heber's 
Journal. So much for the Rowan, or Mountain Ash of established 
reputation.] 

The Otter King. 

The mythical zoology of Sutherland contains also a white otter. 
These animals have a king, sometimes all white, sometimes dun with 
a white star. He has a jewel in his forehead, and is only vulnerable 
in one spot on the breast. I do not know whether it is an elective or 
hereditary sovereignty. 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIKE. 24U 

The Dun Otter {Ouar Hoo). 

Such an animal was killed in Assynt by the man who told me the 
story. It had a white spot on the forehead, and one on each side of 
the muzzle, with one under each shoulder, and a large white place on 
the breast. It is always the seventh in the hole, and said to be the 
king, and that the others cater for it. The skin is much larger than 
that of the other otters, and is a profitable thing to have; for, owing 
to some superstition on the part of ship captains here, they are afraid 
to let the skin go out of the ship, if it has once been in it, and so any 
one taking a skin to a ship to sell it may name his own price. It is 
very fierce, and called in Gaelic Ouar Hoo. It is supposed to be 
invulnerable, except in the breast, but my friend shot it in the hind 
quarter. 

The Great White Snake. 

It is not uncommon in Sutherland, and has been sometimes but 
not often killed. It never rests by day or by night, and besides 
running along the ground has a revolving motion peculiar to itself, 
turning over and over through an ivory ring, which is loose in its 
body. This is formed from its own slime, and sometimes drops off, 
in which case the snake makes another, and the finder of the ring is 
safe against all disasters and enchantments. Another great serpent 
has been seen by the natives, the last was nine feet long, and covered 
with hair ; it had a mane, and was a bodily manifestation of the Evil 
One. — (Widow Mary Calder, pauper, aged 70.) 

Why the Wolf is Stumpy Tailed. 

One day the wolf and the fox were out together, and they stole a 
dish of crowdie. Now the wolf was the biggest beast of the two, and 
he had a long tail like a greyhound, and great teeth. The fox was 
afraid of him, and did not dare to say a word when the wolf ate the 
most of the crowdie, and left only a little in the bottom of the dish for 
him. But he determined to punish him for it: so, the next night, 
when they were out together, the fox said, " I smell a very nice 

T 2 



iil i^ 



250 THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 

cheese, and " (pointing to the moonshine on the ice) " there it is, 

too! " " And how will you get it?" said the wolf. " Well ! stop you 

here till I see if the farmer is asleep, and if you keep your tail on it, 

\ or put it through the ice, nobody will see you, or know that it is 

\ , there : keep it steady, though I may be some time of getting back." 

^ So the wolf lay down, and laid his tail on the moonshine in the ice ; 

and there he kept it for an hour, till it was fast. Then the fox, who 

/ had been watching him, ran in to the farmer and said, — " The wolf 

is there, he will eat up the children — the wolf, the wolf!'' Then the 
farmer and his wife came out with sticks to kill the wolf, but the wolf 
ran off, leaving his tail behind him : and that is why the wolf is 
stumpy, and the fox has a long brush. — (J. Macleod, Laxford.) 

The Fox and the Cock and Hen. 

One day the fox chanced to see a fine cock and a fat hen, off whom 
he would much have liked to dine, but at his approach they flew up 
into a tree. He did not lose heart, however, and soon began to make 
talk with them, inviting them at last to go a little way with him. 
There was no danger, he said, no fear of his hunting them, for there 
was peace now between men and beasts, and among all animals. 

At last, after much parleying, the cock said to the hen, " My dear, 
do you not see a couple of hounds coming across the field ?" " Yes," 
said the hen, " and they will soon be here." " If that is the case, it 
is time I should be off," said the fox, "for I am afraid these stupid 
hounds may not have heard of the peace," and with that he took to 
his heels, and never drew breath till he reached his den. — (D. M., and 
J. Macleod.) 

« . Tee Fox and the Goose. 

One day the fox succeeded in catching a fine, fat goose, asleep, by 
the side of a loch. He held her by the wing, and making a joke of 
her cackling, hissing, and fears, he said : " Now, if you had me in 
your mouth, as I have you, tell me what you would do?" " Why," 
said the goose, " that is an easy question. I would fold my hands, 
shut my eyes, say a grace, and then eat you." " Just what I mean to 
do," said Rory, and folding his hands, and looking very demure, he 



THE FOLK-LORE OF SUTHERLANDSHIRE. 251 

said a pious grace, with his eyes shut. But, alack ! while he did this, 
the goose had spread her wings, and was now half-way over the loch : 
so the fox was left to lick his lips for supper. " I will make a rule of 
this," he exclaimed, in disgust, " never, in all my life, to say a grace 
again till after I feel the meat warm in my belly." — (J. Macleod, 
fisherman on the LaxFord.) 

The Fox and the Wrens. 

A fox had noticed for some days a family of wrens, off which he 
much wished to dine. He might have been satisfied with one, but he 
determined to have the whole lot — father and eighteen sons ; and all 
so like, he could not tell the one from the other, or the father from 
his children. "It is of no use to kill one son, because the old cock 
will take warning and fly away with seventeen : I wish I knew which 
was the old gentleman." He set his wits to work to find out, and 
one day, seeing them all threshing in a barn, he sat down to watch 
them. Still he could not be sure." " Now I have it," he said. 
" Well done, the old man's stroke, he hits true," he cried. '^ Ah ! " 
replied the one he often suspected of being the head of the family, 
" if you had seen my grandfather's strokes you might have said so." 
The sly fox pounced on the cock, ate him up in a trice, and then soon 
caught and disposed of the eighteen sons, all flying in terror about 
the barn. 

The Fox and the Fox Hunter. 

Once upon a time a fox-hunter had been very anxious to catch our 
friend, the fox, and had stopped all the earths in cold weather. One 
evening he fell asleep in his hut, and saw, when he opened his eyes 
the fox sitting very demurely at the other side of the fire. It had 
entered by the hole under the door, provided for the convenience of 
the dog, the cat, the pig, and the hen. " Oh ! ho ! " said the fox- 
hunter, " Now I have you I shall keep you," and he went and sat 
down at the hole to prevent Eeynard's escape. " Oh! ho !" said the 
fox, " I shall soon make that stupid fellow get up:" so he found the 
man's shoes, and, putting them into the fire, wondered if that would 
make the enemy move. '' I shan't get up for that, my fine gentle- 



252 



THE LAME FOX. 



man," cried the fox-hnnter. Stockings followed the shoes, coat and 
trousers shared the same fate, but still the man sat over the hole. At 
last the fox, having set the bed and bedding on fire, put a light to the 
straw on which his jailor lay. It blazed up to the ceihng. «' No, 
that I cannot stand," shouted the man, jumping up ; and the fox, 
taking advantage of the smoke and confusion, made good his exit. 
— (D. M.) 



THE LAME FOX. 

From the Servian (Podunarka, 1848). 




[here was a man who had three sons, two intelligent and 
one a simpleton. This man's right eye was always 
laughing, while his left eye was weeping and shedding 
tears. This man's sons agreed to go to him one by one 
and ask him why his right eye laughed and his left eye shed tears. 

Accordingly, the eldest went to his father by himself and asked 
him: " Father, tell me truly what I am going to ask you. Why 
does your right eye always laugh and your left eye weep?" His 
father gave him no answer, but flew into a rage, seized a knife, and at 
him, and he fled out of doors, and the knife stuck in the door. The 
other two were outside, anxiously expecting their brother ; and when 
he came out asked him what his father had said to him. But he 
'answered them : " If you're not wiser than another, go, and you will 
hear." 

Then the middle brother went to his father by himself and asked 
him: " Father, tell me truly what I am going to ask you. Why does 
your right eye always laugh and your left eye weep ? " His father 
gave him no answer, but flew into a rage, seized a knife, and at him, 
and he fled out of doors, and the knife stuck in the door. When he 
came out to his brothers, his brothers asked him : '^ Tell us, brother 
— so may health and prosperity attend you — what our father has said 



THE LAME FOX- 253 

to you." He answered them : " If you're not wiser than another, go, 
and you will hear." But this he said to his elder brother, on account 
of the simpleton, that he, too, might go to his father to hear and 
see. 

Then the simpleton, too, went by himself to his father, and asked 
him : " Father, my two brothers won't tell me what you have said to 
them. Tell me why your right eye always laughs and your left eye 
weeps?" His father immediately flew into a rage, seized a knife, 
and brandished the knife to pierce him through ; but as he was 
standing so he remained standing where he was, and wasn't frightened 
in the least. When his father saw that, he came to him and said, 
" Wei], you're my true son, I will tell you, but those two are cowards. 
The reason why my right eye laughs is, that I rejoice and am glad 
because you children obey and serve me well. And why my left eye 
weeps, it weeps on this account : I had in my garden a vine, which 
poured forth a bucket of wine every hour, thus producing me twenty- 
four buckets of wine every day and night. This wine has been stolen 
from me, and I have not been able to find it, nor do I know who has 
taken it or where it is. And for this reason my left eye weeps, and 
will weep till I die unless I find it." When the simpleton came out 
of doors his brothers asked him what his father had said, and he told 
them all in order. 

Then they prepared a drinking-bout for their father and the 
domestics, and set out on their journey. On the journey they came 
to a cross-road, and three ways lay before them. The two elder con • 
suited together, and said to their youngest brother, the simpleton : 
" Come, brother ! let us each choose a road, and let each go by 
himself, and seek his fortune." '' Yes, brothers ! " answered the 
simpleton ; '" you choose each a road, I will take that which remains 
to me." The two elder took two roads which ran into each other, 
started on their way, and afterward met, came out into one road, and 
eaid : " Praise be to God that we're quit of that fool! " They then 
sat down to take their dinner. Scarcely had they sat down to eat, 
when up came a lame fox on three legs, approached them, fawning 
and begging to obtain something to eat. But as soon as they saw 
the fox: " Here's a fox," said thoy, "come, let lis lull it," Then 



254 THE LAME FOX. 

stick in hand and after it. The fox limped away in the best fashion 
it could, and barely escaped from them. Meanwhile, shepherd-dogs 
came to their wallet and ate up everything that they had. When 
they returned to the wallet they had a sight to see. 

The simpleton took the third road right on, and went forwards till 
he began to feel hungry. Then he sat down on the grass under a 
pear-tree, and took bread and bacon out of his wallet to eat. Scarcely 
had he sat down to eat, when lo ! that very same lame fox, which his 
two brothers had seen, began to approach him, and to fawn and beg, 
limping on three feet. He had compassion on it, because it was so 
lame, and said : " Come, fox ! I know that you are hungry, and that 
it is hai-d lines for you that you have not a fourth foot." He gave it 
bread and bacon to eat, a portion for himself and a portion for the 
fox. When they had refreshed themselves a little, the fox said to 
him : " But, brother, tell me the truth, whither are you going?" He 
said: " Thus and thus, I have a father and us three brothers, and one 
of my father's eyes always laughs because we serve him well, and 
the other eye weeps because there has been stolen from him a vine 
belonging to him, which poured forth a bucket of wine every hour; 
and now I am going to ask people all over the world whether some 
one cannot inform me about this vine, that I may obtain it for my 
father, that his eye may not weep any longer." 

The fox said : " Well, I know where the vine is ; follow me." He 
followed the fox, and they came to a large garden. Then the fox 
said : '' There is the vine of which you are in search. But it is 
difQcult to get to it. Do you now mark well what I am going to say 
to you. In the garden before the vine is reached it is necessary to 
pass twelve watches, and in each watch twelve warders. When the 
warders are looking you can pass them freely, because they sleep with 
their eyes open. If they have their eyes closed go not, for they are 
awake, not sleeping, with their eyes closed. When you come into 
the garden, there under the vine stand two shovels, one of wood and 
the other of gold. But mind you don't take the golden shovel to dig 
up the vine ; for the shovel will ring, and will wake up the watch ; 
the watch will seize you, and you may fare badly. But take the 
wooden shovel, and with it dig up the vine, and when the watch is 



THE LAME FOX. 255 

looking, come quietly to me outside, and you will have obtained 
the vine. " 

He went into the garden, arrived at the first watch, the warders 
directed their eyes towards him ; one would have thought they would 
have looked him to powder. But he went past them as past a stone, 
came to the second, third, and all the watches in succession, and 
arrived in the garden at the vine itself ; the vine poured forth a 
bucket of wine every hour. He was too lazy to dig with the wooden 
shovel, but took the golden one ; and as soon as he struck it into 
the ground the shovel rang, woke the watch, the watch assembled, 
seized him, and delivered him to their lord. 

The lord asked the simpleton : " How did you dare to pass so many 
watches, and come into the garden to take my vine away ? " The 
simpleton said : " It is not your vine, but my father's ; and my father's 
left eye weeps, and will weep till I obtain him the vine, and I must 
do it ; and, if you don't give me my father's vine, I shall come again, 
and the second time I shall take it away." The lord said : "I cannot 
give you the vine. But, if you procure me the golden apple-tree, 
which blooms, ripens, and bears golden fruit every twenty-four hours, 
1 will give it you." 

He went out to the fox, and the fox asked him : " Well, how 
is it ? " He answered : " Nohow. I went past the watch, and 
began to dig up the vine with the wooden shovel, but it was too 
long a job, and I took the golden shovel. The shovel rang and 
woke the watch. The watch seized me and delivered me to their 
lord, and the lord promised to give me the vine if I procured him 
the golden apple-tree, which every twenty-four hours blooms, ripens, 
and bears golden fruit." The fox said : " But why did you not 
obey me ? You see how nice it would have been to go to your father 
with the vine." He shook his head : " I see that I have done wrong 
but I will do so no more." The fox said : " Come, now ! let us go to 
the golden apple-tree." The fox led him to a far handsomer garden 
than the first one, and told him that he must pass similarly through 
twelve similar watches. " And when you come in the gai-den," said 
she, " to where the golden apple-tree is, two very long poles stand 
there, one of gold and the other of wood. Don't take the golden one 
to beat a golden apple-tree, for the golden branch will emit a whistling 



256 THE LAME FOX. 

sound, and will wake the watch, and you will fare ill ; but take the 
wooden pole, beat a golden apple-tree, and then mind you come out 
immediately to me. If you do not obey me, I will not help you 
further." He said: ''I will, fox ; only that it may be mine to acquire 
the golden apple-tree, to purchase the vine. I am impatient to go to 
my father." He went into the garden and the fox stayed waiting for 
him outside. He passed the twelve watches and also arrived at the 
apple-tree. But when he saw the apple-tree, and the golden apples 
on the apple-tree, he forgot for joy where he was, and hastily took 
the golden pole to beat a golden apple-tree. As soon as he had 
stripped a golden branch with the pole, the golden branch emitted a 
whistling sound and woke the watch. The watch hastened up, seized 
and delivered him to the lord of the golden apple-tree. 

The lord asked the simpleton : " How did you dare, and how were 
you able, to go into my garden, in face of so many watches of mine, 
to beat the golden apple-trees?" The simpleton said: "Thus and 
thus : my father's left eye weeps because a vine has been stolen from 
him, which poured forth a bucket of wine every hour. That vine is 
kept in such and such a garden, and the lord of the garden and the 
vine said to me : ' If you procure me the golden apple-tree which every 
twenty-four hours blooms, ripens, and produces golden fruit, I will 
give you the vine.' And therefore I have come to beat a golden apple- 
tree ; to give the apple-tree for the vine; and to carry the vine to my 
father, that his left eye may not weep. And if you do not give me 
the golden apple-tree now, I shall come again to steal it." 

The lord said: " It is good, if it is so. Go, you, and procure me 
the golden horse, which in twenty-four hours goes over the world. I 
will give you the golden ap[)le-tree; give the apple-tree for the vine ; 
and take the vine to your father, that he may weep no more." 

Then he went outside, and the fox awaiting him said : " Now then, 
how is it! " "Not very well. Tlie golden apple-trees are so beautiful 
that you can't look at them for beauty ; I forgot myself, and couldn't 
take the wooden pole, as you told me; but took the golden pole to 
beat the golden apple-tree; the branch emitted a whistling sound, and 
woke the watch ; the watch seized me, and delivered me to their lord, 
and the lord told nie if I procured him the golden horse, which goes 



THE LAME FOX. 257 

over the world in twenty-four hours, he would give me the golden , 
apple-tree, that I might give the apple-tree for the vine, to take to my 
father, that he might weep no more." 

Again the fox began to scold and reproach him : " Why did you 
not obey me ? You see that you would have been by now at your 
father's. And thus you torment both yourself and me." He said to 
the fox : " Only procure me the horse, fox, and I will always hence- 
forth obey you." 

The fox led him to a large and horrible forest, and in the forest 
they found a courtyard. In this courtyard twelve watches, as in the 
case of the vine and the apple-tree, guarded the golden horse. The 
fox said : " Now you will pass the watches as before ; go, if they 
are looking ; do not go, if they have their eyes shut. When you enter 
the stable, there stands the golden horse equipped with golden 
trappings. By the horse are two bridles, one of gold and the other 
plaited of tow. Mind you don't take the golden bridle, but the one 
of tow; if you bridle him with the golden bridle, the horse will neigh, 
and will wake the watch, the watch will seize you, and who will be 
worse off than you? Don't come into my sight without the horse ! " 
*' I won't, fox," said he, and went. He passed all the watches and 
entered the stable where the horse was. When he was there, golden 
horse ! golden wings ! so beautiful; good heavens! that you couldn't 
look at them for beauty ! He saw the golden bridle, it was beautiful 
and ornamented ; he also saw that of tow ; it was dirty and couldn't 
be worse. Here he thought long what to do and how to do. ''I can't 
put that nasty thing (the tow bridle), it's so nasty, on that beauty ; I 
had rather not have him at all than put such a horse to shame" He 
took the golden bridle, bridled the golden horse and mounted him. 
But the horse neighed, and woke the watch ; the watch seized him 
and delivered him to their lord. 

Then the lord said : '' How did you have resolution to pass my 
numerous warders into my stable to take away my golden horse ?" 
The simpleton replied : " Need drove me ; I have a father at home, and 
his left eye continually weeps, and will weep till I obtain for him a 
vine which in a day and night poured forth twenty-four buckets of 
wine. This vine has been stolen from him. Well, I have found it • 



258 THE LAME FOX. 

and it has been told me that I shall obtain the vine if I procure the 
golden apple-tree for the lord of the vine. And the lord of the golden 
apple-tree said if I procured him the golden horse he would give me 
the golden apple-tree. And I came from him to take away the golden 
horse, that I might give the golden horse for the golden apple-tree, 
and the golden apple-tree for the vine ; to take it home and give it my 
father, that he may weep no more." The lord said : " Good ; if it is 
so, I will give you my golden horse if you procure me the golden 
damsel in her cradle, who has never yet seen either the sun or the 
moon, so that her face is not tanned." And the simpleton said : " I 
will procure you the golden damsel, but you must give me your golden 
horse, on which to seek the golden damsel and bring her to you. 
And a golden horse properly appertains to a golden damsel." The 
lord : " And how will you guarantee that you will return to me again ?" 
The simpleton: "Behold! I swear to you by my father's eyesight 
that I will return to you again, and either bring the horse, if I do 
not find the damsel ; or give you the damsel, if I find her, for the 
horse." To this the lord agreed, and gave him the golden horse. He 
bridled it with the golden bridle, and came outside to the fox. The 
fox was impatiently expecting him to know what had happened. 

The fox : " Well, have you obtained the horse ? " The simpleton : 
" I have ; but on condition that I procure for him the golden damsel 
in her cradle, who has never yet seen the sun or the moon, so that 
her face is not tanned. But, if you know what need is, good 
friend in the world, say whether she is anywhere, and whether you 
know of such a damsel." The fox said : " I know where the damsel 
is, only follow me." He followed, and they came to a large cavern, 
Now the fox said : "There the damsel is. You will go into that 
cavern, deep into the earth. You will pass the watches as before. In 
the last chamber lies the golden damsel in a golden cradle. By the 
damsel stands a huge spectre, which says : ' No ! No ! No ! ' Now, 
don't be at all afraid, it cannot do anything to you in anywise; but 
her wicked mother has placed it beside her daughter, that no one 
may venture to approach her to take her away. And the damsel is 
impatiently waiting to be released and freed from her mother's cruelty. 
When you come back with the damsel in the cradle, push all the 



THE LAME FOX. 259 

doors to behind you, that the watch may not be able to come out after 
you in pursuit." He did so. He passed all the watches ; entered 
the last chamber ; and in the chamber was the damsel, rocking herself 
in a golden cradle ; and on the way to the cradle stood a huge spectre, 
which said : " No ! No ! No ! " But he paid no attention to it. He 
took the cradle in his hands, seated himself with the cradle on the 
horse and proceeded, pushed the doors to — and the doors closed from 
the first to the last ; and flew out with the damsel in the cradle before 
the fox. The fox was anxiously expecting him. 

Now the fox said to him : " Are you not sorry to give so beautiful 
a damsel for the golden horse? But you will not otherwise be able 
to acquire the golden horse, because you have sworn by your father's 
eyesight. But come ; let me try whether I can't be the golden 
damsel." She bounded hither and thither, and transformed herself 
into a golden damsel ; everything about her was damsel-like, only her 
eyes were shaped like foxes' eyes. He put her into the golden cradle, 
and left the real damsel under a tree to take charge of the golden 
horse. He went, he took away the golden cradle, and in the cradle 
the fox-damsel ; delivered her to the lord of the golden horse, and 
absolved himself from the oath by his father's eyesight. He returned 
to the horse and the damsel. Now that same lord of the golden 
horse, full of joy at acquiring the golden damsel, assembled all his 
lordship, prepared a grand banquet for their entertainment, and 
showed them what he had acquired in exchange for his golden horse. 
While the guests were gazing at the damsel, one of them scrutinised 
her attentively and said: "All is damsel-like, and she is very beau- 
tiful, but her eyes are shaped like foxes' eyes." No sooner had he 
said this, when up sprang the fox and ran away. The lord and the 
guests were enraged that he had said, " foxes' eyes,' ' and put him to 
death. 

The fox ran to the simpleton; and on they went to give the golden 
horse for the golden apple-tree. They arrived at the place. Here, 
again, the fox said : " Now, you see, you have got possession of the 
golden damsel ; but the golden horse properly appertains to the 
golden damsel. Are you sorry to give the golden horse ?" " Yes, 
fox ; but, though 1 am sorry, yet I wish my father not to weep." 



260 THE LAME FOX. 

The fox : " But stay; let me try whether I can be the golden horse."' 
She bounded hither and thither, and transformed herself into a 
golden horse, only she had a fox's tail. Then she said : " Now lead 
me ; let them give you the golden apple-tree, and I know when I 
shall come to you." 

He led off the fox-horse, delivered it to the lord of the golden 
apple-tree, and obtained the golden apple-tree. Now the lord of the 
golden apple-tree was delighted at having acquired so beautiful a 
horse, and invited his whole lordship to a feast, to boast to them what 
a horse he had acquired. The guests began to gaze at the horse and 
to wonder how beautiful he was. All at once one scrutinised his tail 
attentively and said: "All is beautiful, and all pleases me; only, I 
should say that it is a fox's tail." The moment he said that, the fox 
jumped up and ran away. But the guests were enraged at him for 
using the expression, "fox's tail," and put him to death. The fox 
came to the simpleton, and proceeded with the golden damsel, the 
horse, and the golden apple-tree to the vine. 

Now, again, the fox said : " You see now, you have acquired the 
o-olden apple-tree. But the golden damsel is not appropriate without 
the golden horse, or the golden horse without the golden apple-tree. 
Are you sorry to give the golden apple-tree ? " The simpleton : " Yes, 
fox • but I must to obtain the vine, that my father may not weep. 
I had rather that my father did not weep than all that I have." The 
fox said : " Stay ; I will try whether 1 can be the golden apple-tree." 
She bounded hither and thither, and transformed herself into a golden 
apple-tree, and told him to take it away and give it for the vine. He 
took off the golden fox-apple-tree and gave it to the lord of the vine ; 
obtained the vine, and went away. 

The lord, for joy, assembled his whole lordship and prepared a 
grand feast, to display what a golden apple-tree he had acquired. 
The guests assembled, and began to gaze at the apple-tree. But one 
scrutinized it attentively and said : '' All is beautiful, and cannot be 
more beautiful ; only the fruit is in shape a fox's head, and not like 
other apples." No sooner had he said this when up jumped the fox 
and ran away. But they were enraged at him and slew him, because 
he had said, " fox's head." , 



THE LAME FOX. 26 1 

Now lie took leave of the fox and went home ; having with him the 
golden damsel, the golden horse, the golden apple-tree, and the vine. 
When he arrived at the cross-road, where he had parted from his 
brothers, when he went from home to seek the vine, he saw a multi- 
tude of people assembled, and he too went thither to see what was the 
matter. When he got there his two brothers were standing condemned 
and the people were going to hang them. He told the damsel that 
they were his brothers, and that he would like to ransom them. The 
damsel took a large quantity of treasure out of her bosom, and she 
ransomed his brothers, the malefactors, who had thought to acquire 
the vine by slaying, burning, and plundering. They envied him, but 
could not help themselves. They proceeded home. The sim])leton 
planted the vine in the garden where it had been ; the vine began to 
pour forth wine, and his father's left eye ceased to weep, and began to 
laugh. The apple-tree began to blossom, the golden horse to neigh, 
the damsel to sing, and there was love and beauty at the farm-house. 
Everything was merry, everything was rejoicing and making pro- 
gress. 

All at once, the father sent his sons to bring him from the country 
three ears of rye, that he might see what manner of season it would 
be. When they came to a well in the country they told their simple- 
ton brother to get them some water to drink. He stooped over the 
well to reach the water for them ; they pushed him into the water, 
and he was drowned. Immediately the vine ceased to pour forth 
wine, the father's eye began to weep, the apple-tree drooped, the 
horse ceased to neigh, the damsel began to weep, and everything lost 
its cheerful appearance. Thereupon that selfsame lame fox came up, 
got down into the well, gently drew her adopted brother out, poured 
the water out of him, placed him on the fresh grass, and he revived. 
No sooner had he revived than the fox was transformed into a very 
beautiful damsel. Then she related to him how her mother had 
cursed her because she had rescued her greatest enemy from death. 
Hhe was cursed, and was transformed into a cunning fox, and limped 
on three feet, until she should rescue her benefactor from a watery 
death. " And, lo ! I have rescued you, my adopted brother. Now 
adieu ! " She went her way, and the simpleton his way to his father; 



262 SOME FOLK-LORE FROM ACHTERNEED. 

and, when he arrived at the farm-house, the vine began again to pour 
forth wine, his father's eye to laugh [the golden apple-tree to bloom] , 
the golden horse to neigh, and the golden damsel to sing. He told 
his father what his brothers had done to him on the way, and how a 
damsel had rescued him and freed herself from a curse. When his 
father heard this, he drove the two villains away into the world. But 
him he married to the golden damsel, with whom he lived long in 
happiness and content. 

(Rev.) A. H. Wratislaw. 

The Market Place, Rugby. 




SOME FOLK-LOEE FROM ACHTERNEED. 

HE following was gleaned by me during a few days' stay 
at the hamlet of Achterneed, in the parish of Fodderty, 
Ross-shire. The hamlet lies on the slope of a hill near 
the well-known health resort of Strathpeffer, and is a 
station on the Dingwall and Skye line of railway. 

I. — Death Customs. 

A cock crowing during the afternoon is regarded as an omen of 
a death near at hand in the neighbourhood. An old man died on the 
21st of September this year in the hamlet. A cock crowed between 
three and four o'clock the afternoon before ; and it was the common 
remark among the inhabitants that a death was not far distant. 

Any creaking of the chairs and tables in a house is looked upon as 
a sure sign of the death of one of the family. My informant told me 
that, not long ago, her mother entered a house in which was lying a 
young woman sick. She heard some creaking among the chairs or 
tables during the time she was in the house. On returning home she 
mentioned the fact, and at the same time made the remark that it 



SOME FOLK-LORE FROM ACHTERNEED. 263 

was the warning of the death of the girl. The girl died not long 
after. 

It is believed that dogs are gifted with the power of seeing what is 
to happen. Hence their howling before a death occurs in the vicinity. 

When a death takes place, if there is a clock in the house, ifc is 
stopped, and looking-glasses and everything in the shape of orna- 
ments are removed from the apartment in which the death occurs 
and the body is to be laid out. A table and a few chairs are left for 
the use of those that are to watch the body, for it is never left without 
one or more watchers. For this purpose several of the neighbours 
meet nightly. They spend part of the time in reading. Food, as 
well as whiskey, is served them ; but the food is not partaken of in 
the apartment in which the dead is laid out. "When the others retire 
to another apartment for this purpose, one remains with the dead. 
Whiskey, however, may be drunk beside the dead body. Lights are 
burned not only beside it, but in every apartment of the house during 
the whole of each night till it is buried. 

It is accounted very unlucky for a cat to pass between one and a 
dead body. Cats are, therefore, shut out of the apartment in which 
the body lies. Some do not allow a cat to remain in the apartment in 
which one lies dying. On the occasion of the death of the old man 
spoken of above, another old man from the hills entered, and, seeing 
a cat lying on the bed beside the dying man, at once ordered the 
animal to be taken not merely off the bed but out of the room. 

It is unlucky to look at a funeral procession through a window, or 
to stand in the door to do so. One must go right outside. My 
informant has been reproved by her father for attempting to do so. 

At funerals there is a religious service in the house, but none at the 
grave. There is always a liberal supply of whiskey, and sometimes 
some indulge rather freely; although at one time, not long ago, the 
people came to a resolution to dispense with it. 

The deceased father's wearing apparel is not distributed to the 
sons, if he has any, but is given to his brother or brothers. There is 
a strong feeling against the sons using it. 

The same does not hold with regard to the clothing of the deceased 
mother, for it commonly goes to the daughter or daughters. 

Vol. 6. — Part 4. u 



264 SOME FOLK-LOKE FROM ACHTERNEED. 



II. — Marriage Customs. 

It is looked upon as very unlucky for a marriage party to meet a 
woman. If a woman sees such approaching, she leaves the road to 
avoid the meeting. 

During the time the dance to " The Reel of TuUoch " is going on, 
the bridegroom's man steals away with the bride. When the flight is 
discovered, the whole of the guests rush off in search of the fugitives, 
and never rest till they are caught and brought back. 

Sometimes the bridegroom disappears. 

The bride is welcomed to the house by her mother, if she is alive ; 
but, if she is dead, by her maternal aunt. 

Bread, t. e. oaten cakes, and cheese, are thrown over the bride on 
her coming up to the door of the house. 

III. — Charms. 
A Cure for Whooping-Cough. 

Take the child out of the parish, and carry it over a stream in 
another. This is called "crossing strange water," and effects a 
cure. 

A Cure for the Evil Eye. 
The father of the patient takes the marriage ring, a penny, a six- 
pence, a shilling, and a florin, puts them into a wooden laiUe — the one 
in use in the household — and goes with the mother and the patient 
to the nearest stream, fills the ladle with water, and with that water 
sprinkles the sufferer. This goes by the name of " silver water." 

IV. — Luck. 
Modes of averting Ill-Luch. 

Deer-grass {lycopodiurn) brings luck to a house, and as long as a 
piece of it is in a house, ill-luck will not enter. 

Horse-shoe. — It is almost the universal custom to keep one or 
more old horse-shoes in the house, or ajBfixed to some part outside. 



IRISH PLANT-LORE NOTES. 265 

Lady keeps some in the hall of , and when one of the 

maids one day removed them, with the intention of throwing them 
out, her mistress observed what was to be done, and forbade it, with 
the remark, " Throw out the horse-shoes, throw out all the luck." 
(Told by the maid). The house in which I lived had one lying on the 
window-sill outside. (Eev.) W. Gregor. 




IKISH PLANT-LORE NOTES. 

The Smooth-leaf Holly. 

N the north of Ireland, especially Donegal, I have heard 
the smooth-leaf holly called the " Queen of the "Wood," 
but I could not learn the reason why. Lately, however, 
I was in Ross and Cromarty, and learned, when in the 
neighbourhood of Loch Maree, that St. Maelrubha (who is both an 
L-ish and Scotch saint) founded the church of Applecross a.d. 673, 
and died there on the 21st April, a.d. 722. He was much venerated 
in Gairloch, having his residence on Tuchmaree in Loch Maree. He 
is said to have introduced " the sacred smooth-leaf holly to outrival 
the Druidical oaks," and dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin. In the 
neighbourhood of the western end of Loch Maree there was a Druidical 
station, the ancient oaks, under which they sat, still remaining, and it 
is said that up to not long ago the place was used as a manor court. 

The Ash. 

'A lady has sent me the following query and notes in connection 
with the ash in Ireland. Can any correspondent answer the query ? 

'' Can any one give me information as to whether the common ash 
is treated with veneration in Ireland — whether it is supposed to be a 
sacred tree in any sense (as it is in England and Scotland), or 

U2 



266 IRISH PLANT-LOEE NOTES. 

possessed of mystic virtue, or malignant influence of any kind? As 
well as I can remember when I was a child, in days now long ago, the 
country people in Tipperary used to use the common ash and the 
rowan-tree indiscriminately to keep the witches, or evil influences of 
Bome sort, away from the cows. Whether this was done only at 
certain seasons or on certain days of the year I cannot recollect, but 
that the presence of leaves and branches about the cows' heads (which 
I have often seen) was considered to secure a good supply of milk I 
am certain, although not quite so sure that the common ash as well as 
the rowan-tree was used. I also remember an old gate-keeper in 
Tipperary telling me that the ash made the best of all walking-sticks, 
giving as a reason that ash trees might grow wherever they liked, but 
had a way of growing < all of themselves ' on the ruins of old churches 
and on the tops of the walls round graveyards. It was ' a good tree,' 
he said, and the impression left upon my mind was that he implied 
some mysterious sanctity in it. A few years ago, in Cork, at a holy 
well where an ash and some thorn-trees were decked with the usual 
rag offerings, a countryman I met at the spot told me the Irish held 
the ash and the thorn to be the best of all trees ; but further informa- 
tion on the subject I could not get from him. I shall be much obliged 
if any one will help me with Irish ash-tree lore." 

The rowan and hazel are known to have been and still are con- 
sidered sacred trees ; but the lone trees and those most often found 
at holy wells, stations, and ancient churches are the ash, the hawthorn 
(May), and the yew. When in such places they are considered holy, 
but whether they are naturally holy, or get their sanctity from the 
places, I cannot learn. The hawthorn, or sTcea^ grows in most un- 
accountable places, away in wild mountains, and under such circum- 
stances is supposed to be a fairy haunt. There was such a tree on 
the lone mountain road between Feakle and Gort near the mearing of 
Clare and Galway. When a boy my attention was directed to it by 
the parson of Feakle, who said it was considered a fairy bush, and 
pointed out the worn spot under it where they danced. The fairies 
were said to have left the county during the famine years (1848-52) 
as the grass grew on the bare spot, but they returned afterwards. 
As this was the only shelter for miles on the road, it is possible that 



IRISH PLANT-LORE NOTES. 267 

it was not the fairies but sheltering wayfarers that wore away the 
grass ; the latter growing during the famine years while the country 
was desolate and without an inhabitant. Also different thrushes 
carry the haws and plant them in the out-of-the-way places wheie 
the hawthorn grows. In North Munster the fieldfare or feld is 
called the skeauraun because it carries the haws and sows the skea in 
the grass-land. 

What carried the seed of the ash, except the wind, I do not 
know, as I think it is too bitter for any bird to eat. As it grows 
so quickly, is so easily transplanted, and is so common, it is not to 
be wondered at if it was specially planted adjoining the wells, while 
afterwards it would be protected by its sacred position. Some of the 
oldest Irish trees that I remember to have seen were ash ; especially 
a hollow one at Duniny, co. Galway, in which a hedge-schoolmaster 
held his school. A second very large one in the same county is at 
an ancient church near the shore of Lough Derg, its back having 
sent up a circle of young ash-trees. The yew's connection with 
ecclesiastical settlements seem to have been principally due to its 
being required on Palm Sunday in the religious procession. A great 
many places in Ireland, as mentioned by Joyce, have been called 
after the yew. Among the others, Youghall, co. Cork, was called 
after a yew -wood now under the sea in Youghall bay, while Mayo 
was the plain of the yews. There are different fine ones still 
remaining in some of the ancient abbeys as at Muckruss, Killarney ; 
while lone leafless stumps occur in places all over the island, the 
finest assembly being on the crags near the ferry of Knock on the 
Galway side of Lough Corrib ; of them there used to be twenty-three 
or thereabouts coming up out of the bare crag. These ancient yews 
must have been as old as the yews found below the peat in the neigh- 
bouring bogs. 

G. H. KiNAHAN. 



26S 




FOLK-LOEE AT BALQUHIDDER. 

I HE following scraps of folk-lore at Balquhidder were 
collected by me, from personal observation and inquiry, 
at Balquhidder, Perthshire, in September 1888: — 

At Balquhidder, on September 25th, 1888, I wit- 
nessed the ceremony of cutting the harvest " Maiden." The farmer, 
Mr. McLaren, knowing that we were interested in the custom, gave 
us notice when the cutting of the corn was almost finished and the 
" Maiden " was about to be made. When we entered the field the 
oats were all cut, except one small patch and a single slender bunch 
or sheaf which remained standing by itself uncut amid the cut corn. 
This bunch or sheaf was to form the " Maiden." First the standing 
patch was cut down ; then an old man grasped the sheaf which was 
to form the '' Maiden " and gave it a twist. It was the regular custom, 
he said, thus to twist it, and the sheaf should be cut at a single 
stroke. The youngest girl on the field (a child about four years old) 
then put her hands on the scythe and, assisted by an unmarried lady 
present, cut through the sheaf. At this point we left the field. But 
shortly afterwards I was told that the '* Maiden " was being carried 
home by a small boy, who was hurrahing and kicking up his heels as 
he ran. I hastened out, but when I met him his demonstrations of 
joy had subsided, doubtless through shyness, into a very sober walk. 
Mrs. McLaren kindly made a special " Maiden " for us from part of 
this last sheaf cut, the remainder of the sheaf being used to make a 
'* Maiden " for the farm. The head of our " Maiden " was formed 
of a bunch of ears of oats; a broad blue ribdand was tied in a bow 
under the head, the ends of the bow projecting (to form arms ?) ; a 
skirt of paper neatly made and cut out in a pattern completed the 
costume of the " Maiden.'" I hope to place this " Maiden " in the 
Antiquarian Museum, Cambridge, and to make it the beginning of a 
collection of " Maidens," or " clyack sheafs " (see Mr. W. Gregor, 



FOLK-LORE AT BALQUHIDDER. 269 

in Revue des traditions populaires, October 1888, p. 484, seq.), from 
all parts of the country where the custom is still observed. 

So much for what I saw. Now for what I ascertained about the 
"Maiden" by inquiry from different inhabitants, particularly Miss 
McCoU and Miss Watt of Kirkton. At harvest the last corn cut on 
the farm is dressed Uke a doll and called " the Maiden." It is kept 
in the farmhouse, generally above the chimney-piece, for a good while, 
perhaps a year. One old woman stated that she has known people 
keep the old " Maiden " in the house till the new " Maiden " of the 
next year is brought in. It is not every house on the farm that has 
a " Maiden," but only the farm-house itself. The farm on which we 
witnessed the cutting of the " Maiden " was a small one, and the 
members of the family sufficed to cut the corn without needing to 
hire reapers. But on large farms where there are many reapers, a 
competition takes place as to who shall have the " Maiden." Each 
reaper is followed by a girl binding the corn as he cuts it. A reaper 
who wishes the girl who follows him to have the " Maiden " will 
sometimes leave a little corn uncut and will turn it down, and the girl 
who is binding the corn behind him will throw a sheaf over it to hide 
it. At the end of the reaping (which may not be finished for several 
days), when a rush has been made on the (supposed) last patch 
standing in order to make the " Maiden " from it, the girl who knows 
where the corn was turned down and hidden returns to it and cuts it 
after all the rest has been cut. It is for the girl who follows binding 
the corn that the reaper turns down the com ; he himself takes no 
more concern about it. If several have thus concealed uncut com, 
the girl who is cunning enough to wait till all the rest have revealed 
their hidden corn and cut it is successful, for her corn is the last cut 
and out of it is made the " Maiden." It is supposed to be always the 
youngest maiden on the field who cuts the " Maiden." Mrs. Stewart, 
of Immercon, a farm about three miles from the Kirkton of Balqu- 
hidder, told my sister that formerly on the evening when the 
" Maiden " was cut they had what they called a " Kirn," i. e., cream 
whipped up and eaten with bread or mashed potatoes; in the potatoes 
were put a ring, thimble, and sixpence for the same purpose of 
divination as at Hallow e'en. At another farm they used to give 



270 FOLK-LORE AT BALQUHIDDER. 

the harvesters on this occasion a supper of curds and cream, but this 
is now replaced by tea. With regard to the " Kirn," the Rev. Mr. 
Cameron, minister of the parish, told my sister that sometimes 
the cream is whipped up very stiff and mixed with oatmeal ; into this 
mixture the ring, thimble, and sixpence are placed. Mrs. McLaren 
told my mother that some people make arms of straw to the " Maiden." 
Before leaving the " Maiden " I may add that my mother remembers 
seeing the " Maiden " at Daldouie, near Glasgow, many years ago, 
though she is not sure of the name by which the figure went. So far 
as she remembers, it had a ribband tied round its head and one round 
its waist ; and the stalks were neatly arranged to represent the skirt 
of a woman's dress. It was kept hanging on the wall. 

Mr. Duff, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, tells me that in 
his part of Aberdeenshire there is a competition as to who shall have 
the last sheaf (the clyack sheaf) like that at Balquhidder, but with this 
difference, that the last corn left standing and hidden is cut by the 
reaper himself, not, as at Balquhidder, by the girl who followed bind- 
ing. Mr. Duff adds that he was informed by a perfectly trustworthy 
authority, that in an English county it was the custom for all the 
harvesters to worship the last corn in the field by bending the knee 
and bowing the head to it. 

To return to Balquhidder. The old man who assisted at the 
cutting of the " Maiden " explained a mode of divination by thi-owing 
the reaping-hook over the shoulder, but as he seemed to speak English 
with difficulty I could not be sure that I fully understood him. He 
seemed to say that one man took all the reaping-hooks of tho 
reapers in a bundle and threw them ever his shoulder three times. 
The man whose hook stuck in the ground twice would die soon. 
Omens were also drawn from the direction in which the hooks fell. 

At Hallow e'en each house has a bonfire. They do not dance 
round the fires. The custom is chiefly observed by children. The 
fires are lighted on any high knoll near the house. 

In the churchyard at Balquhidder is a green knoll known to 

English-speaking people as the Angels* Mount. The Eev. Mr. 

Cameron told us that " Angels " is here a corruption of the Gaelic 

alnjrd, t'lo naae of the knoll being Tom-nan-aingeal, i. e. " the hill 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 271 

of the fires " {aingeal is genitive plural). The tradition is that the 
Druids kindled their fires on this knoll. 

It is unlucky if a hare crosses your path. In setting out on a 
journey they used to regard the first person they met as ominous of 
good or bad luck on the journey. Some people were lucky to meet, 
some unlucky. 

When a child was carried out of the house to be baptised , bread and 
cheese were given by the person who carried the child to the first 
person met. 

In the old ruined church of Balquhidder is an ancient gravestone, 
said by tradition to be the grave of a Culdee saint. The Rev. Mr. 
Cameron informed me that formerly at marriages and baptisms the 
people used to stand barefoot on the gravestone as on holy ground. 
Some suppose it to be the tombstone of St. Angus. 

The Rev. Mr. Kirk, author of The Secret Commonwealth (a work 
on fairies), and minister of Balquhidder parish about the beginning of 
the last century, died suddenly ; it was thought by the people that he 
had been carried off by the fairies for revealing their secrets. Once 
after his death he appeared to a man and said that he (Kirk) would 
appear at a certain wedding, and that he might be released from 
fairyland if his friend would throw a knife over his shoulder. He 
did appear at the wedding as he had foretold, but his friend forgot to 
throw the knife over his shoulder ; so Mr. Kirk is still a prisoner in 
fairyland. This story was told me by the Rev. Mr. Cameron. 

J. G. Frazer. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 

The Burial Customs of the Ainos. — The Rev. J. Bachelor writes, 
in a recent issue of the Jay an Weelly Mail, on the burial customs of 
the Ainos of Yezo. He says that as soon as a person dies, a blazing 
fire is made the corpse is dressed in its best garments, which are 



272 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

neatly laced up, and is laid lengthways on the right hand side of the 
fireplace. The relatives and friends of the deceased sit around the 
remaining parts of the fireplace, and usually they are so numerous as 
to fill the hut. In all cases many sacred symbols (inao) are made, 
and placed around the hut and the dead body. Mr. Bachelor has 
seen the corpse of a woman laid out. She was well dressed, and had 
her utensils and paraphernalia about her (the rings and beads being, 
in this instance, laid upon her bosom), and was shod with pieces of 
white calico which Mrs. Bachelor had, a few days previously, given 
to the husband of the deceased to bind up his wounded foot. Any 
white material seems to be especially welcome to the Ainos for wrapping 
up the bodies of their dead. When the body has been properly 
dressed, and when the necessary eating-vessels or hunting materials 
are placed in position, a cake made of millet, or a cup of boiled rice 
and some wine, are placed by its side, and the spirit of the departed 
is supposed to eat up the essence of these things. Then the" goddess 
of fire is implored to take charge of the spirit and lead it safely to 
the Creator of the world and the possessor of heaven, and she receives 
various messages to the Deity setting forth the praises of the dead 
and extolling his many virtues. Millet cakes and wine are then 
handed round to every member of the assembled company, and each 
of them offers two or three drops of the wine to the spirit of the 
dead, then drinks a little, and pours what remains before the fire 
as an offering to the fire goddess, to whom they have not ceased 
to pray ; then part of the millet cake is eaten, and the remainder 
buried in the ashes on the hearth, each person burying a little piece. 
After the burial these scraps are collected and carried out of the hut 
and placed before the east window, which is regarded as a sacred 
place. The corpse is then carefully rolled up in a mat, neatly tied 
up, attached to a pole, and carried to the grave by two men. The 
mourners follow after the corpse, in single file, each carrying some- 
thing to be buried in the grave, the men leading and the women 
following them. The grave is from two and a half to three and 
a half feet deep, and round the inside of it stakes are driven, and 
over them and at the bottom of the grave mats are placed. Then 
the body is laid in the grave, with numerous little knicknacks — 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 273 

cups, rings, beads, a saucepan and some clothing being buried with 
the woman ; a bow and quiver, an eating and a drinking cup, tobacco, 
a pipe, a knife with the men; and playthings with the children. These 
things are always broken before being put into the grave, and it is 
noticeable that they are not usually the best the deceased had during 
life. Everything is then closely covered with mats ; pieces of wood 
are placed so as to form a kind ^of roof, and on this the earth is 
piled. A pole is generally stuck at the foot of the grave to mark the 
spot. No prayers are offered up during burial. The mourners then 
return to the hut, where the men pray, make inao, i. e. sacred symbols, 
eat, drink, and get drunk. The dead body is never allowed to remain 
ia the house longer than one day ; and once the funeral is over, the 
name of the departed is never mentioned. 

Danes' Blood — Medgelly's Cow.— The following passages from 
the third volume of The Family Memoirs of Bev. William Stukeley, 
M.D., a work just issued by the Surtees Society, are worth a place in 
the FolTc-Lore Journal : — 

Ryhall, Rutlandshire. — " Here abouts grows much elrilus, or wild- 
elder, fancyed to spring from the Danes' blood." — 1736. — (p. 169.) 

Cherbury, Shropshire. — " A proverb in this country, ' Medgelly's 
cow, for one that gives a deal of milk.' The report of this temple is 
that a cow in this place gave milk to all the honest and good folks of 
the neighbourhood; but one of evil life milked her into a sieve, where- 
upon the cow disappeared and never came more." — 1753. — (p. 179.) 

Edward Peacock. 

Halibut. — What is the connection between the Jews and a 
halibut ? 

The Dublin fishmongers say that when they have one for sale the 
Jews rush to buy pieces of it ; but all try to get the head if possible. 

An amusing story used to be told by an old Bristol gentleman, for 
a long time living in Dublin, who was rather fond of abusing the 
" Hirish " because they could not pronounce their words correctly. 

" Hi was going up Baggot Street, and a 'orrid woman came running 



274 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

after me and said, * Your 'onor, come back and look at my fish.' I 
went back, and it was only an 'alibut, and I said, I don't want your 
beastly 'alibut,' but slie said, ' Hoh, your 'onor, you must buy some, 
as all the 'ebrew gentlemen 'ave been in with me to-day.' The 'orrid 
hold woman 'ad taken me for a Jew." G. H. K. 

Devil's Glen, co. Wicklow. — The Devil's Glen is so called as it 
was one of the Irish residences of his satanic majesty, and those 
seeking an audience were required to apply at Pouldoule, or the deep 
hole below the waterfall, where he was to be heard of. 

It is said that Murdock 'Toole, the rapparee of Lough Dan, when 
he wanted a banshee, came in at the upper end of the glen to see the 
devil. When the Byrnes, Cavanaghs, and other chiefs met to defend 
the country against Cromwell's invasion, the rapparee was also there. 
Cavanagh objected to a churl sitting in council with them, and 
O'Toole claimed he was a bastard son of O'Connor, and that a royal 
bastard had a right to sit in council with the noble but uncrowned 
blood of the Leinster chiefs ; also he stated that he would forfeit to 
the Cavanaghs all his property if he failed to have a banshee appear 
at his death. In various ways he tried to induce the O'Connor 
banshee to act for him, but all his devices failed ; so as a last resource 
he visited the devil at Pouldoule. The devil was kind, and promised 
one on the condition that he destroyed the ecclesiastical settlement at 
Glendalough of St. Kevin. This he did, and since then a devil as a 
banshee attends at the death of this family of O'Tooles. But, unfor- 
tunately, devils cannot weep at the death of a mortal, they can only 
laugh ; so that the O'Tooles' banshee announces their deaths with 
peals of most unearthly laughter. It is said, however, that these 
O'Tooles increased so fast and scattered so over the world, while the 
devil had so much business on hand, that of late years he rose out of 
his contract, and that now-a-day one of these O'Tooles can go quietly 
to his rest. As to the Devil's Glen — since the English overran the 
country, his majesty has so many habitations that he finds it rarely 
necessary to visit the glen. G. H. K. 



NOTES AND QUERIES. 275 

Church Folk-lore. — The following paragraph, which I transcribed 
some years ago from The Hull Advertiser of 14 May, 1796, is worthy 
of preservation in your pages. Watching the church porch on the 
eve of St. Mark is a well-known practice; watching the supper I have 
not, as far as I remember, heard of before: — " The lamentable effects 
of terror have been frequently recorded. We are sorry to add another 
instance of its fatal power. On Friday morning a girl living at a 
public-house in Mill Street, in this town, was seized with an illness. 

She died early on Saturday morning. Thursday evening, 

being what is called St. Mark's Eve, the above girl, in company with 
two others, sat up to observe a custom of the most dangerous and 
ridiculous nature, which they called watching their suppers ; in doing 
which it is supposed the girl heard some noise, or fancied she saw 
some object, which had such a terrible effect on her mind as to 
produce the fatal consequences above mentioned. We hope her awful 
example will be a warning to the thoughtless observance of such 
superstitious and impious practices." Edward Peacock. 

Bottesford Manor, Brigg. 

Milk V. Fire. — In Mr. Rust's note in Nature, vol. xxxvii. p. 583, 
there is mention of a superstition that milk alone can extinguish a fire 
kindled by lightning — a belief that existed in Cambridgeshire, and 
which is entertained by the Sudan Arabs. The Sinhalese (natives of 
Ceylon) have a similar belief in the efficacy of milk. When an 
epidemic such as small-pox breaks out in a village, two games of a 
religious character, An-Edima (horn pulhng) and Pol-gehima (strik- 
ing cocoa-nuts together), are played in public for a couple of days. 
Then the Kapurala (lay priest), and those who have taken part in 
the games, go in procession with music, &c., to every house in the 
village, where arrangements have been made for the Kapurala' iS recep- 
tion. The house and grounds are cleaned ; the inmates wear newly- 
washed clothes ; and portions of the ceiling and floor are covered 
with white cloths. A lamp is lit at the threshold of the build- 
ing. The Kapurala carries an earthen pot containing either cocoa- 
nut milk or water medicated with saffron-leaves, and over which 
charms have been pronounced. On his arrival at the door he chants 



276 NOTES AND QUERIES. 

a song about a fire in Madurapura (Madura, South India) which 
was quenched by the goddess Pattini with milk. He then pours the 
fluid from the earthen vessel upon the lighted lamp and extinguishes 
it. The Sinhalese use the expression " May milk be poured on him 
[or her]," when desiring to avert from some one an impending 
calamity, or to counteract a curse or prophecy of evil pronounced 
against him. The idea of employing milk to quench the fire of an 
epidemic (typified by the flame of a lamp), and the idea of the deity 
pouring milk on an individual in order to protect him from malignant 
influences, appear to be somewhat analogous to the belief that milk 
alone will extinguish a conflagration kindled by the fire from heaven. 
— F. M. WicKRAMAsiNGHA. Colombo Muscum, Ceylon, June 30. — 
Nature, vol. xxxviii. p. 453. 

Whistling. — As a whistler of the female sex I must offer a protest 
against the one and only suggested reason why women are not so 
frequently heard to indulge in whistling as men, which is given by the 
writer in your " Notes and Queries " of last issue. 

It seems evident to me that the writer in question has never been a 
little girl with a strong desire to become skilful in the accomplish- 
ment, or he (.'') would have had vivid and painful recollections of the 
persistent manner in which all juvenile efforts were quelled. Unless 
he (?) had been possessed of an unusually free and self-reliant mind, 
the treatment would probably have had the effect of making him even 
acquiesce in the general verdict, and in his tender years take it for 
granted that it was an " unlucky," or " unlady-like," pastime. Per- 
haps he (?) was never (as I was) at a school where the pupils were 
fined for indulging in it. 

I think that much of the prejudice instilled in youths unconsciously 
survives in riper years, and prevents so free an indulgence (in the 
presence of the opposite sex) of the decidedly soothing recreation, as 
might have taken place under more favourable circumstances. Any 
inferior excellence in female performances might be attributable to the 
more advanced age (when nursery and school-room shackles no longer 
appear indestructible) at which practice begins. I for one have never 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 277 

heard one of my s€x depreciate whistling on account of its being 

unbecoming. 

Perhaps your writer would kindly consider my remarks, and not 

take it amiss if it should be suggested to him that the lack of 

frequency with which he is treated to an exhibition of female whistling 

might be the result of his not being altogether behind the scenes. 

Bertha Porter. 
16, Russell Square, W.C, Aug. 8, 1888. 



NOTICES AND NEWS. 

The Japan Weekly Mail says, that the only calm and wholly undis- 
turbed view of the late volcanic eruption of Bandai-San obtained by a 
human being was due to a fox. The Japanese believe that foxes 
bewitch good folks, and cause them to see all sorts of appalling un- 
realities. This was quite understood by a resident of the neighbour- 
hood who happened to be ascending a hill opposite Bandai-San at the 
moment of the eruption. It appeared to him a much more probable 
and natural event that he should be bewitched by a fox than that a 
hitherto peaceful mountain should belch foi-th mud and fire. Accord- 
ingly, when the first explosion took place, he instantly recollected 
that he had seen a fox a short time previously, and concluded that all 
the commotion was a hallucination prepared for his special annoyance 
by reynard. Determined not to be overcome by such an agent of 
wanton mischief, he quietly sat down and watched the whole outburst, 
convinced that what he saw was an impalpable, intangible picture. It 
was only when he descended from his perch into the valley that he 
found what had really happened. 

In an interesting paper on ancient tide-lore, which appears in The 
Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, Mr. W. Colenso, F.R.S., 
describes the old belief of the Maories as to the ebbing and flowing of 
the sea. These phenomena, it seems, they attributed to a huge 
ocean monster, whose home was low down in the depths beyond the 



278 NOTICES AND NEWS. 

horizon. It was supposed to do its work by powerful and regular 
respiration, or ingurgitation and regurgitation of the water. The 
monster's name was Parata ; and any one overtaken by great mis- 
fortune is said to have fallen into Parata's throat. In a myth 
relating to the first peopling of New Zealand, one of the chief canoes, 
named the Ai^awaj is represented as being carried into the enormous 
mouth of the monster, and as being with difficulty extricated by 
Ngatoroirangi, the courageous and cunning tohunga (= priest, or wise 
man) on board, who recited his powerful charm for the purpose. The 
words of this charm or spell are still preserved. 



279 



INDEX. 



Abercbomby (Hon. Ralph) Cloudlancl 
in Folk-lore and Science, 94-115 

Abigail (St.) county Cork, 58 

Aboriginal tribe feared by the con- 
quering tribe, 64 

Absence, lengthened, as if for a night, 
Aino, 34; China, 192; Sutherland- 
shire, 183-185; 217; Wales, 191 

Achterneed, Ross-shire, folk-lore of, 
262-265 

Aino folk-lore, 1-51; 193-196; 271- 
273 

America, Folk- Lore Society of, 84 

Washington, folk-lore of, 85- 

94; South, 210 

American Indians, folk-lore of the 
Senecas, 196-199 

Ancestral objects, sacredness of, Aino, 
26, 49 

Angler, the demon, Sutherlandshire, 
164 

Angus (St.) tombstone of, Balqu- 
hidder, 271 

Animals assuming human shape, Aino, 
10, 13, 14, 16, 22, 23, 24, 28, 42, 47; 
Sutherlandshire, 175, 176; Seneca 
Indians, 197; Hungarian, 208; Ser- 
vian, 259, 261 

, fabulous, Washington, 90; 

Sutherlandshire, 246-252 

grateful, assist man, Servian 



legend, 254 

killed on St. Martin's eve. 



Roscommon, 57 

, language of, Aino, 10 

marriage of with human 



beings, Aino, 8, 11-13, 195 

-, terms used for talking to, 



142-143 

April fools, county Clare, 54; Long- 
ford, 61 

Apparitions, Sutherlandshire, 167. 238- 
241, 242 

Vol. 6. — Part 4. 



Arabian superstition, milk and light- 
ning, 211 
Archaeological remains, folk-lore con- 
nected with, Doi'set, 117 
Architectural saint, Tyrone, 58; Su- 
therlandshire, 157 
Aristophanes, on the Clouds, 111, 112- 

113 
Armies, spectral, Sutherlandshire, 242 
Arrow shooting in Sutherlandshire, 

folk-tale, 232 
Ascension day, Welsh mining super- 
stition about, 211 
Ash, ceremony at birth, Prabhus, 76 

, veneration of, Ireland, 265 

Assvnt, noodle story of, 168-169 
Astrology used at birth, Prabhus, 76 
Austin (St.) well dedicated to, Dorset, 

118 
Axe, worship of the, Aino, 26 

Babcock(W.H.) Folk-Tales and Folk- 
Lore collected in and near Washing- 
ton, 85-94 

Badger-goddess, Aino, 40 

Balquhidder, folk-lore at, 268-271 

Ballad, traditional, 144 

Bamboo princess, Mentra, 74 

Batchelor (Rev. J.) Some Specimens of 
Aino Folk-Lore, 193-196 

Bear-goddess, man married to, Aino, 
11-13,36 

Bears, trees tui-ned into, Aino, 48; man 
turned into, Seneca, 197 

Bees, told of death, Herts. 146 

Beetle and the Virgin Mary, Suther- 
landshire story, 161-162 

Bell, sacred, used for discovery of 
thefts, &c. Clare, 53 ; Kildare, 53 

Bells, church, disused during passion 
week, 146, 210 

passing and funeral, Sutherland- 
shire, 243 



280 



INDEX. 



Bible, superstitions connected with, 
246 

Birth customs, Aino, 48 ; Mentra, 66; 
Prahhus, 75-77; Washington, 92 

Black (William George) Charms and 
Sjjells at Gretna, 189-190 

Blackening of faces, before battle, Su- 
therlandshire, 150 

Blanket of the sun, clouds so-called, 
100 

Blood-feud and exogamy, Somali, 123 

Blue flowers, growth of on the Cross, 
Dorset legend, 118 

Boar, legend of, Sutherlandshire, 159- 
160 

Boar's head, clouds so called, 102 

Bolton (H. C), Terms iised in talking 
to Domestic Animals, 142-143 

Bonfires on Midsummer Eve, Clare, 54 

on Hallowe'en, Perthshire, 

270 

Borrowing of stories, Aino, 2-3 

Bride, beating of, as portion of mai'- 
riage ceremony, 124 

, capture, Ross-shire, 264 

Bridge built by kelpies, Sutherland- 
shire, 172 

Brother-in-law. widow married to, So- 
mali, 125 

Buffalo legend, Mentra, 73 

Building legend, Tyrone, 58; Suther- 
landshire, 157 

Bull-baiting on St. Stephen's Day, 
Longford, 62 

Burial custom of the Ainos, 271-273 

Buried castle and ship legends, Suther- 
landshire, 155 

Cakes at dances, Roscommon, 57 

Calvary, Dorset, legend concerning, 
118 

Cambridgeshire, lightning superstition, 
275 

Cambyses, death of, 151 

Candle, burning of on Christmas 
night, Longford, 62 

, inch of, selling by, Somerset- 
shire, 144-145 

-, lighted, carried round the bed 



as a charm, Gretna, 189, 190 
Candlemas day customs, Clare, 54 
Cannibal giants, in Hungarian folk- 
tale, 201, 202 
Cask, genii in, legend of Sutherland- 
shire, 153 
Cats, omen of death from, Ross-shire, 

263 
Cave legend, Sutherlandshire, 152 



Caves, mythical, origin of in clouds, 
100 

Celtic antiquities, superstition con- 
nected with, 117 

Ceylon, Sinhalese, milk superstition, 
275 

Chamberlain (Basil Hall) Aino Folh- 
Lore, 1-51 « 

Changeling, fairy, Sutherlandshire, 
215-216 

Charm, stolen, Aino folk- tale, 15-16 

Charms, Gretna, 190; Ross-shire, 264 

, Washington, 93 

Chieftainship, Aino, 39 

Child-ceremony at marriages, Somali, 
124 

Children, folk-lore connected with, 
Washington, 92-93 

Chimney,' fairies in, Dorset, 116 

Chinese fairy tale, 192 

Christ, folk-lore connected with, 209, 
210 

Christmas customs, Clare, 54; Long- 
ford, 62 

Church folk-lore, 275 

Cirrus, origin of the word in English, 
96 

Clothes of deceased father, descends to 
brother, 263; of deceased mother 
descends to daughters, 263 

Clouds, folk-lore of, 94-115 

, riding on the, Aino, 27 

Cock mass, ceremony of the, Colombia, 
210 

, omens from, Washington, 91 

, why it cannot fly, Aino, 8 

Cock and hen, and ttie fox, Suther- 
landshire stoiy, 250 

Collection of stories, mode of, in Japan , 
1-2 

Colombia, Christian customs in, 210 

Comfrey, red-flowered, as medicine, 
Dorset, 116 

Common, game of, county Down, 59 

Conflicts, tribal, Roscommon, 56; Kil- 
kenny, 64 

Coracles, use of, county Clare, 54 

Corn growing in one night, Suther- 
landshire story, 161 ; Seneca pa- 
rallel, 198 

Cows, liability of to witchcraft, An- 
trim, 56 ; Feroe islands, 132 

Creation, time of, mentioned in Aino 
legends, 19; Mentra, 66 

Credun (St.) well dedicated to, Clare, 52 

Crows, share of man's food given to, 
Aino, 21; transformation of into 
man, 28, 42 



INDEX. 



281 



Cuckoo, Aino beliefs concerning the, 
47 

Curiosity, punishment of, Aino folk- 
tale- 19 

Cycle of Aino folk-tales, 30-33 



Dance, fairy, Sutherlandshire, 217 
Dances, with cakes, Roscommon, 57 
Danes' blood, Rutlandshire, 273 
Death, cured bymagic medicine, Suther- 
landshire, 178 

customs at, Ross-shire, 262-264 

omens, Washington, 91; Suther- 
landshire, 243 ; Ross-shire, 262 

origin of, Mentra, 67 

warning of, Sutherlandshire, 



239, 243 

■ work stopped after death of a 



townsman, Antrim, 56 
Deceiver, the clever, Aino folk-tale, 

43-45 
Deer, enchanted, of Reay forest, 226 
Defibulation, ceremony of, Somali, 124 
Demon, stealing of human wife by, 

Aino, 20 
Dempster (Miss), Folh-Lore of Suther- 
landshire, 149-189, 215-252 
Descent, rules of, in Ross-shire folk- 
lore, 263 
Devil, legend connected with, 125-128, 

164, 180 
Devil's glen, county Wicklow, 274 
jump, legend of, near Washing- 
ton, 87 

Nightcap, a stone so called. 



Dorsetshire, 117 

Diamond, triple, of Ben Stack, Suther- 
landshire, 241 

Diarmid, death of , Sutherlandshire folk- 
tale, 159-160 

Disease, cause of, by dreaming, 50 ; 
cures for, 133 

Dog, origin of, in Mentra legend, 67 

Dogs, excretion of gold and silver by, 
Aino, 22 

why they cannot speak, Aino, 8 ; 

their affection for the fox, Aino, 16; 
powers of sight, Aino, 37; Ross- 
shire, 263 

Domestic folk-lore, Washington, 91-92; 
Ross-shire, 962-263 

Door, opening of, at time of death, 
Sutherlandshire, 243 

Door-posts, god of the, Aino, 40 

Dorsetshire folk-lore, 115-119 

Dove, heroine assumes form of, Hun- 
garian folk-tale, 208 



Dowry, marriage, Somali, 119; Ceylon, 

140 
Dragon fight, legend of, derived from 

clouds, 102 

' god, Aino, 13 

legends, Sutherlandshire, 156, 

232 
Dreams, Aino, 39, 50 ; Sutherlandshire, 

233-235 
Drowning, death from rising tide, 

Sutherlandshire, 152; superstitions, 

242 



Earth, condition of, in the beginning 
of the world, Aino, 19; Mentra, 66 

Earthquakes caused by wriggling of 
gigantic fish, Aino, 3, 194 

Easter customs, county Clare, 54; 
Spain, 210 

Eating, taboo against, in Hades (fairy 
land), Aino, 35, Wales, 192 

Eclipse, origin of, Mentra, 68 

Eggs, trundling of, county Down, 60 

Eight, the figure, in conjuring, Wales, 
126 

Essex, singing game, 211 

Eye, evil, Sutherlandsliire, 245 ; Ross- 
shire, 264 

Eyed, one, monsters, origin of in cloud 
forms, 110 

Exogamy and blood feud, Somali, 123 

Face of goddess not to be seen, Aino 

folk-tale, 19 
Fairies, belief in, Roscommon, 56; 

Down, 60; Wales, 191 

man carried off by, Perthshire, 



271 
217 



• mountain, Sutherlandshire, 173, 

wizard's power over, Sutherland- 
shire, 153 
Fairy children, Sutherlandshire, 182 

people, in Feroe Islands, 126 

stories, Sutherlandshire, 215-220 

Family, s^Decial, superstitions, 59, 64, 

221, 247 
Famine, legend of, Aino, 193 
Fatal localities to certain persons, 151 
Female succession, Mentra, 72 
Fenian's (St.) Well, Queen's county, 61 
Feroe Islands, folk-loi'e of, 129-133 
Festivals at wells, Sligo, 52 
Fingal, mention of, in Sutherlandshire 

stories, 159, 162, 221, 231 
Fire, ceremonies at birth, Hindu, 75 
at death, Aino, 271 



282 



INDEX. 



Fire, constant, kept up during illness, 

Ireland, 51 
drill, use of by Ainos, 47 

fairy changeling, disappears at 

the, Sutherlandshire, 216 

kindled by lightning only 

extinguished by milk, Arab, 211 

origin of, Polynesia, 147-148 



Fires, Midsummer, Clare, 54 ; St. John's, 
Roscommon, 56 ; Tyrone, 58 

Fleas, origin of, Aino, 8 

Fly, man enabled to, Aino, 46 

Flying with the fairies, Sutherland- 
shire, 220 

Folk-tales, Mr. Lang's theory as to 
origin of, 214-215 

Food, consequence of eating, in Hades 
(fairy land), Aino, 35 

fairy, nature of, 220 

Forests, destruction of, by dragon, 
Sutherlandshire, 157 

Foster, (J. J.), DorsctsMre Folh-Lore, 
115-119 

Fox, the lame, Servian story, 252-262 

Foxes, worship of, Aino, 10-11, 20, 21 ; 
transfer of, into human shape, Aino, 
13-15, 23; friendship with dogs, 
Aino, 16; deceptions of, Aino 17, 
18, 31; Sutherlandshire, 250-252 

France, Easter custom in, 210 

saints who have slain dragons 

in, 159 

Frazer (J. G.), Totemism, review of, 
83-84; A Spanish Easter Custom, 
210 ; Folk-Lore at Bal(i'n'hidder, 
268-271 

Friday, unluck of, Longford, 61 

Frisian funeral rite, 77 

Funeral rite, Frisian, 77 

Furniture, creaking of, omen of death, 
Ross-shire, 263 



Gallows, rescue of criminal by woman 

marrying him, 144 
Games, see " Common," " Shinny," 

" Singing " 
Germany, folk-lore of whistling, 209 
Ghost stories, Sutherlandshire, 240, 

242, 244; Washington 89 
visit of, to New Year's feast, 

Sutherlandshire, 183 
Giant of Barra, Sutherlandshire story, 

162 
Giants, Hungarian folk -tale, 201; 

Sutherlandshire story, 181-182 
last of the, Sutherlandshire, 169- 

170 



Giants, sleeping, Sutherlandshire story, 
164 

Gilbert (St.) and the dragon, Suther- 
landshire, 157-158 

Glass hill in Hungarian folk-tale, 200 

Goblins of Feroe Islands, 132; Suther- 
landshire, 188 

Gods, intercourse of, with human beings, 
Aino, 8, 36, 38; Malay, 138 

Gold castle, in Hungarian folk-tale, 203 

used for cure of disease, Feroe 

Islands, 133 

Good and evil, origin of, 19 

Goose and the fox, Sutherlandshire 
story, 250-251 

on Michaelmas day, Longford, 62 

Gospel, magic power of, Sligo, 52 

Granbree, supper of, on Hallow e'en, 
Longford,' 62 

Gratitude of animals, and consequent 
help of, to man, 22 

Green maidens, in Sutherlandshire 
legend, 163 

river spirit, 228 

Gregor,i(Rev. W.), Folli-Lore of Acli- 
terneecl, 262-265 

Gretna, charms and spells at, 189-190 



Hairy monsters in the sky, 95 

Halibut, Jewish notions concerning, 
273 

Hallowe'en customs, Clare, 54; Long- 
ford, 62; Perthshire, 270 

Hammer, magic, Sutherlandshire, 157 

Hare, origin of the, Aino, 9 

witch transformed into, 222 

Hartland (E. S.) The Treas^ire on the 
Brim, 125-128; Bafydd William 
Bafydd and the fairies, 191-193 

Harvest customs at Balquhidder, 268- 
271 

Harvey (D. F. A.) Traditions of ihe 
3Icntra or Aborigines of Malacca 
and the adjoining States, 64-74 

Hazel tree superstition, 229, 248 

Hearts of animals used as preven- 
tives, 116 

Heaven beyond the sky, visit to, Aino, 
20 

Heligoland, book on customs of, 214 

Hell-stone, Dolmen so called, 117 

Hell, visit to, Aino, 35, 37 

Henry IV. death of, 151 

Herds of Glen Guar, Sutherlandshire 
story, 182 

Herodotus, Fvterpe, second iooh of, by 
A. Lang, reviewed, 213-214 



INDEX. 



283 



Hertfordshire, bee superstition in, 146 
Hindu birth-ceremonies, see" Trabhus" 
Holly, origin of, in Ireland, 2G5 
Honeysuckle, a charm against witch- 
craft, 229 
Horse, miigic, of gold, Aino, 20; Ser- 
vian, 256; Sutherlandshire, 246-247 
water, legends of the, Suther- 
landshire, 246-248 
Horses, transform ution of man into, 

Aino, 47 
Horseshoe superstition, Eoss-shire, 265 
House building for newly married, So- 
mali, 120 

sacrifices, see " threshold " 

Household omens, Washington, 91 
Hudd (A.), Sc-lling hy incli of Candle, 

144-145 
Human flesh, detected by smell, by 
giant in Hungarian folk-tale, 201- 
202 
Hungarian stoiy, the three lemons, 

199-209 
Hunt, fairy, Sutherlandshire, 219 

Indecency of Aino folk-tales, 5 
Indra, udders of the cows of, origin of 

the cloud formation, 104 
Invitation to marriage, Ceylon, 141 
Ireland, folk-lore of, 51-64, 146, 265- 

267 
Iron, evil spirits afraid of, Hindu, 77 
Island, enchanted, Antrim, 55 
Islands, legend of, America, 87 

Jack the Giant Killer, some features 

of, 181 
Japan, see " Aino" 
Jews and the halibut fish, 273 
Judgment, unjust, Sutherlandshire 

story, 172 

Kelpies, Sutherlandshire, 172,221-229 
Kieran (St.~) county Tyrone, 58 
Kinahan (G. H.) Irhli plant-lore notes, 
265-267; Halibvt, 273-274; DcviVs 
Glen, county Wicldow, 274 
King (Capt. J. S.) Notes on the Folh- 
Lore and some Social Cvstovis of the 
Wester7i Somali tribes, 119-125 

Labaalteine, Irish name for St. John's 
fires, 57 

Lake dwellings, legends about, Suther- 
landshire, 155-156 

Lang (A.) Myth Ritiial and Religion 
review of, 80-83 ; Perranlt's Popular 
Tales, 212-213 ; Enterpe, 213-214 



Language, disease of, and origin of 

myth, Aino, 4 
Language of animals, Aino, 10 
Laughing, bride won by making her 

laugh, Sutherlandshire story, 186 
Leaden castle in Hungarian folk-tale, 

200 
Lemons, the three, Hungarian story, 

199-209 
Lice, origin of, Aino, 8 
Lightning, fire kindled by, extin- 
guished onlv with milk, Arab, 211, 

275 
Liquids, dreaming of, causes rain, 

Aino, 50 
Local rhyme, Sutherlandshire, 238 
Localitias fatal to certain people, 151 
Locke (the god) drawing water, origin 

of in cloud formation, 105 
Looking glass, turning of, at death, 

77,145 
Lord's Prayer, power of, against with- 

craft, 223 
Lying, punishment for, Aino, 23-24 

Magic horse of gold, Aino, 20 
Maiden, harvest, at Balquhidder, 268- 

271 
Maiden names, married women called 

by, Westmeath, 61; Wexford, 63 
Malacca, traditions of the Aborigines 

of, 64-74 
Malay folk-tale, 134-139 
Man, stench from, to the inhabitants 

of the sky, Aino, 20 
Manman (St.), Queen's County, 61 
Manor court held under oaks, Ireland, 

265 
Maori legends of procuring fire, 147- 

148; tide-lore, 277 
Marriage customs, Ceylon, 139-142; 

Ferce islands, 129-131; Eoss-shire, 

264; Somali, 119-125 
Martinengo-Cesaresco (E), Singing 

Game, 211 
Maui, legend of, Pacific legend, 106- 

107,147 
May bushes, Clare, 54; Longford, 62; 

Boscommon, 56 
Mentra, Aborigines of Malacca, tradi- 
tions of, 64-74 
Mermaid, love of for fisherman, Su- 
therlandshire, 165 
Metaphor, origin of folk-tales. Aino, 4 
Midsummer fires, Clare, 54 ; Longford, 

62 
Milk, used for extinguishing fire kindled 

by lightning, Arab, 211, 275 



284 



indp:x. 



Mining superstition, Wales, 211 
Mist, origin of, Bengalese tale, 108 
Modern folk-lore, 91-92, 109-110 
Mole, god in Aino folk-lore, 14-15 

legend of, Washiagton, 89 

Monkeys, why they do not exist among 

the Ainos, 17 
Moon, effect of, on man, Mentra legend, 

67 
legend of the, Mentra, 68; Chi- 
nese, 77-79 

new, praying to, Roscommon, 



57; ^ntherlandshire, 234 

superstitions concerning the, 



91 
Moral tales, Aino, 21-29, 193; position 

of in folk-love, 79-80 
Mother-in-law, avoidance of, Somali, 

124 
Moule (H. J.), Dorsetshire folk-lore, 

115-119 
Mountain fairy, Sutherlandshire, 173 
Mugwort, divinity of, Aino, 49 
Mullen (St.), county Kilkenny, 60 
Mummers, county Clare, 54 
Murray-Mynsley (H. G. M.), Turning 

the Looking Glass, 146 
Museum, folk-lore, suggested, 268 
Music in Malay folk-tale, 137 
Music, legend of, heard under water, 

Washington, 86 

Nagas, Indian mythical, 66 
Names, place, Mentra tribes, 71-73 
Naming customs, Aino, 48; Mentra, 

65; Frabhus, 76 
Napoleon III. superstition of, 151 
Natural phenomena explained by folk- 
tales, Aino, 3, 7-21; Mentra, 66-70; 
See "Clouds" 
Negro traditions near Washington, 85 
New Year customs, Clare, 54; Long- 
ford, 61 
Noah's ark in clouds, 97 
Noodle story, Sutherlandshire, 168-169, 

185 
Nutt (Alfred), an old ballad, query, 
144 



Oak tree, god of the, Aino, 20, 49 
Oaths by sacred bells, Ireland, 53 
Ogre, in Aino folk-tale, 15-16; Hun- 
garian folk-tale, 201 
Omens, Sutherlandshire, 233 - 234; 

Washington, 91 
Ossianic story, Sutherlandshire, 159- 
160, 169, 174 



Otter, deception of, by fox, Aino folk- 
tale, 17 

Otters, king of the, Sutherlandshire, 
248-249 

Owl, origin cf its cap of feathers, Aino, 
7; of its eating fish, Aino, 9; beliefs 
concerning, Aino, 47 



Pancake, divination by, Clare, 54 

Passion week, bell disused during, 146, 
210 

Patron solemnities, Antrim, 55; Cork, 
58; Down, 60; Roscommon, 56 

Peacock (Edward), Danes' Blood, 273; 
Church Folk-Lore, 275 

Peacock, divinity of, Aino, 43, 48 

Perrault's Po/;«Zar Tales, by A. Lang, 
reviewed, 212-213 

Perthshire, folk-lore of Balquhidder, 
268-271 

Phallic superstition at Cerne Abbas, 
Dorset, 119 

Picts, king of the, in Sutherlandshire 
legend, 174 

Pigeon feathers not to be used for a 
bed, Dorset, 115 

Pin, stuck into head of heroine, Hun- 
garian folk-tale, 208 

Pincushion-stone, legend of near Wash- 
ington, 88 

Pine tree, god of the, Aino, 36, 49 

Plant-lore, Irish, 265-267; Rutland- 
shire, 273 

Polygamy, Aino, 41 

Polynesian folk-lore, fire in, 147-148 

Porter (Bertha), Whistling Women, 
276-277 

Prabhus, birth ceremonies of, 75-77 

Priests, magic power of, Sligo, 52 

Property inheritance by marriage, 
Aino, 41 

Prophecies, Aino, 196 

Proverbs, Shropshire, 273 ; Sutherland- 
shire, 237 

R. (B.), second book of Herodotus, 

1584, edited by W. Lang, review of, 

213-214 
Race between fox and tiger, Aino, 18 
Rain caused by dreams of liquids, 

Aino, 50 
Rainbow in Mentra legend, 66 
Rat and the owl, story title, Aino, 7 
worship of by man, Aino, 16; 

transformation of into man, 24 
Raven, transformed into man, Aino, 

21-22 



INDEX. 



285 



Eavens. hero guided by in Hungarian 
folk-tale, 200, 202, 203 

Eaven's Eock, spirit of the, Sutherland- 
shire, 227 

Eed colour in folk-medicine, 116 

Eich, methods of growing, Aino, 23 

Eiddles and rhymes, Sutherlandshire, 
236-238 

Eing, the lost wedding, Sutherland- 
shire tale, 180-181 

Eiyer legend, Aino, 33, 46; Sutherland- 
shire, 223, 224 

Eoads, broad and narrow, choice of, 
Aino, 32 

Eoss-shire, folk-lore of, 262-265 

Eungni, story of, 101 

Eussian marriage ceremony, 124 

Eust (J. C), niilk and lightning, Ara- 
bian, 211 

Eutlandshire, Danes' Blood, 273 

Sacrifice at threshold, Somali, 121, 
123 

of animal on St. Martin's eve, 

Eoscommon, 57 
St. John's fires, Eoscommon, 56; Ty- 
rone, 58 

St. Martin's eve, animal killed on, 
Eoscommon, 57; Wexford, 64 

Salamander legend, Sutherlandshire, 
1.57 

Salmon, worship of, Aino, 33 

Samoan fire legend, 147 

Sanborn (John Wentworth), Folli-Lore 
of tlie Seneca Indians of North 
America, 196-199 

Saturday, unluck of, 61 

Science and Folk-Lore, 112-115 

Sea, origin of the, Mentra, 69-70 

Sea-monster, Aino, 47 

Selling by inch of candle, Somerset- 
shire, 144-145 

Senanus, tradition of, Clare, 52-53 

Seneca Indians, folk-lore of, 196-199 

Serpent, hunter takes the form of in 
Hades, Aino, 35 

Serpents, good and bad, Sutherland- 
shire, 232, 249 

Servian folk-tale, the lame fox, 252- 
262 

Shadow, man's, seised by Satan, 152 

Shark, story of the, Aino, 28 

Shinny, game of, county Down, 59 

Ship, seen in the clouds, 97, 105 

Ships, battle with, in Malay folk-tale, 
184-136 



Shropshire proverbs, 273 

Shrove Tuesday, weddings, Clare, 54; 

Longford, 61 
Sight, second, Sutherlandshire, 238-241 
Silver castle, in Hungarian folk-tale, 

202 
use of, to wash new born in- 
fant, Sutherlandshire, 235 
Singing games, Essex, 211 
Sister, father's, right of, to name the 

child, Prabhus, 76 
Sister-in-law, compulsory marriage of, 

Somali, 125 
Sister marriage, Mentra legend, 67 
Sky, raised byBelo, Mentra legend, 67 
Sleeping king or hero, myth of, 164 
Snake, birth of from a woman, Aino, 

38 
Sneezing omens, Washington, 92 
Snow, hares made from, Aino, 9 
Somali tribes, folk-lore of, 119-125 
Somersetshire, selling custom in, 144- 

145 
Sons, custom of naming from, Mentra, 

65 
Spain, Eastern customs in, 146, 210 
Spells, at Gretna, 189-90 
Spirits in prison, fairies supposed to 

be, 218 
of the departed in Hades, Aino, 

37 
Sprite legend, Sutherlandshire, 188 
Spynie, loch, legend of, 187 
Star legend, Mentra, 68 
Stephens, (St.) day, bull baiting on, co. 

Longford, 62 
Step-mother, jealous, story, Aino, 42 
Stocking, throwing the, at weddings, 

CO. Longford, 63 
Stone, legend of ill luck from removal 

of, Washington, 88 
magic, inherited in a particular 

family, 221 
Stone with impress of knee on, Clare, 

53 
Stones, heaped up, to mark spots of 

untimely death, 63 
Story collecting in Japan, 1-2 
Sun-god, intercourse with woman 

causing birth of child, Aino, 38 
Sun-legend, Mentra, 67 
Sun-rising, Aino legends connected 

with, 19, 21 
Sun-worship by mother of new-born 

child, Prabhus, 77i 
Sutherlandshire, folk-lore of, 149-189; 

215-252 



286 



INDEX. 



Sweating-houses, use of, in Tyrone, 

59 
Sweno, legend of, Sutherlandshire, 

150-151 

Tailor and the skeleton, Sutherland- 
shire story, 160-161 

Tales, telling of, used for punishing 
the wicked, Aino, 41 ; told in county 
Longford, 62; Roscommon, 56; Se- 
neca Indians, 196; See " Story " 

Tasks, three, Servian story, 252 

Theim-orrim, an Irish instrument of 
torture, 59 

Thief, the master, Sutherlandshire 
story, 187 

Thor's chariot drawn by goats, origin 
of legend, 101 

one-eyed, origin of in cloud 

form, 110 

Thorn trees protected by wee-folk, 
Antrim, 56; Down, 60 

Threshold, sacrifice at, on bride enter- 
ing the house, Somali, 121 

sprinkled with blood on St. 

Martin's eve, Roscommon, 57 

Thunder, representation of during 
Passion Week, 210 

Thunder Gods, loves of the, Aino 
folk-tale, 8 

Tide, death as it recedes, Sutherland- 
shire, 243 

Tide-Lore, Maori, 277 

Tiger deceived by the fox, Aino, 18 

origin of in Mentra legend, 67 

Time, absence for a year as if for a 
day, Aino, 34 

Tortoise and the owl, Aino folk-tale, 
9 

Traill (D.H.), Fairy Tales wWi 
Morals, 79-80 

Treasure legend, Sutherlandshire, 171, 
near Washington, 88-89; Wales, 
125-128 

Tree-gods, Aino, 20, 24, 36, 48, 49 

Trees, apparition of to murderer, 
Sutherlandshire story, 171 

mankind turned into, Mentra 

legend, 67 

protected by wee-folk, 56, 266 

sacred, Ireland, 266 



Turquoise ring used as charm, Turkey, 

216 
Turkish superstition, turquoise ring, 

216 
Twardowsky, legend of, 151 



Vaugh, spirit of the river, Sutherland- 
shire, 223, 224 



Wakes, coonty Clare, 55; Cork, 63; 

Roscommon, 57; Westmeath, 61 
Wales, legends of, 125-128, 191-193; 

mining superstition of, 211 
War legend, Aino, 49, 50, 195 
Warts, chai-ms for, Washington, 93 
Water, origin of, Mentra, 69-70 
reflection of heroine's face in, 

Hungarian folk-tale, 207 
Weather omens. 91, 97, 235 
Wells, holy, county Antrim, 55; Clare, 

52, 54; Cork, 63, 266; Dorset, 118; 

Down, 60; Longford, 61, 62; Queen's 

county, 61; Roscommon, 56; Sligo, 

52; Sutherlandshire, 244; Tyrone, 

58; Wexford, 63 
Whistling, folk-lore, of 209-210, 276- 

277 
Whooping cough, Ross-shire, 263 
Wicklow, Devil's Glen, 274 
Widow marriage, Somali, 125 
Winter, personification of, in Hunga- 
rian folk-tale, 200 
Winterborne, Dorset legend of the, 117 
Wisdom, obtained from serpent's broth, 

230 
Wishing wells, Dorset, 118 
Witches and kelpies, Sutherlandshire, 

221-229 
belief in, Down, 60; Gretna, 

189-190; Roscommon, 56 
Wizard legends, Sutherlandshire, 1 52, 

167-168, 187 
Wolf legend, Sutherlandshire, 249 
Woman's love, Aino legend, 194 
Women, whistling, unluck of, 209, 276- 

277 
Wooden image, sacred, Ireland, 5 3 
Wraiths, Sutherlandshire, 240, 243 
Wratislaw (Rev. A. H.), The Three 

Lemons, 199-209; The Lame Fox, 

252-262 
Wren-boys, county Clare, 54 
Wrens and the fox, Sutherlandshire 

story, 251 



Yoshitsune, legend of, Aino, 194 
Youngest brother, in Servian story, 
253; Sutherlandshire legend 

Zenogue (St.), co. Cork. 63 



WESTMINSTER: 
PRINTED BY NICHOLS AND SONS, 25, PARLIAMENT STREER. 







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